Smoking Ages Skin
According to the British Skin Foundation, smoking accelerates the ageing process in the skin, by producing an enzyme, matrix metalloproteinase-1, and reducing oxygen, both of which degrade elastin collagen. Smokers develop early-onset “crow’s feet” and wrinkles around the mouth or “smoker’s lines”.
Smoking Delays Wound Healing
According to Dr Anjali Mahto, consultant dermatologist & British Skin Foundation spokesperson, wound healing following trauma or surgery can take longer than expected if an individual is smoking. There is also a higher risk of wound infection and failure of skin grafts in smokers. Smoking can also contribute to the development and persistence of leg ulcers. The nicotine and carbon monoxide in cigarettes cause vasoconstriction which will result in a lack of oxygen reaching the skin, which in turn slows down new collagen production.
Smoking Causes Skin Cancer
Dr Anjali Mahto warned that cigarette smokers have twice the risk of developing a type of skin cancer known as squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) compared to non-smokers and are also at a higher risk of developing oral cancer – 75 per cent of these occur in smokers.
Smoking Predisposes You to Skin Disorders
Certain skin disorders, including psoriasis, hidradenitis suppurativa, discoid lupus erythematosus, are found more frequently in people that smoke. Tobacco smoke exposure increases the risk of developing psoriasis.
Cigarettes Cause Smokers’ Acne
Researchers writing in the British Journal of Dermatology observed that this specific form of acne was characterised by blocked pores and large blackheads but the spots themselves were less inflamed than ‘regular’ acne.”