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Why Smoking Ruins Your Skin!

Everyone today knows that smoking has a myriad of negative effects on the body. It is bad for your brain, lungs, heart, teeth, and even your sex life. But did you know that smoking also damages your skin? Well, the effects aren’t as obvious at first but they have far damaging effects. Truth is, if the effects were immediately apparent, you wouldn’t need anyone to tell you to quit. 

How Smoking Affects Your Skin

Dull skin

Smoking is often associated with excessive smoke. This smoke goes into the lungs and is absorbed into the bloodstream. Once the nicotine is absorbed, it narrows the blood vessels, especially those in the outermost skin layer which takes away the natural glow of the skin. As you continue smoking, you deny your skin the much needed oxygen, it becomes worse.


Did you know that cigarette smoke has more than 4000 chemicals? Imagine what all those chemicals do to your body! For starters, they decrease the elasticity and strength of your skin, leading to premature aging. Unsightly age sports are common among smokers, especially those who are too young to have them. With time, the age spots become permanent.

The natural skin elasticity is lost, the skin becomes lose and saggy. The lose skin is especially worse on the stomach, arms and legs, and the neck. This sagging can only be corrected through expensive surgeries.


Have you ever seen someone with patches on their skin that are dry, flaky and silvery? Well, that is a skin condition called psoriasis. Prolonged, heavy smoking reduces the body’s immunity. This immune-suppression makes the body susceptible to a myriad of illnesses, one of them being psoriasis. 

Under-eye bags

Do you just hate those days that you can’t get a good night sleep and it shows on your face? Well, with smoking, you are four times more likely to have that feeling of unrest. This is according to research done by John Hopkins.

Generally, the smoke keeps your body in constant state of poor health. This, coupled with nightly nicotine withdrawal, causes constant body unrest at night. This unrest causes bags under the eyes, which isn’t very pretty. Over time, the effects of the heavy smoking make the bags hard to fix.

Thinning hair

Smoking affects the entire skin, including the scalp. As the cigarette chemicals get absorbed in the bloodstream, they weaken the blood vessels supplying nutrients and oxygen to the skin thereby weakening the skin. Additionally, the chemicals damage the hair follicles DNA as well as accelerating the growth of free radicals. The weakened scalp can no longer hold the hair as firmly, which leads to hair loss.

Skin Scarring

Nicotine is one of the most dangerous substances when absorbed in the bloodstream. It causes vasoconstriction (which is narrowing of the blood vessels). This causes a reduced percentage of oxygen reaching other body parts. This means that the wounds take a while longer to heal, even if they are small. The prolonged healing can cause wounds to be septic at worst, and at best make them bigger, which leaves scars.

The slow wound healing process also extends to medical procedures such as tooth extractions and periodontal procedures as well as small wounds such as paper cuts. Therefore, if you are an avid smoker, you might want to skin that surgery (even cosmetic procedures) as it will only prolong the healing. Some surgeons decline performing surgeries on smokers unless they agree to quit.

Stretch marks

Freaky, isn’t it? When the nicotine is absorbed in the blood stream, it damages the skin’s connective tissue and fibers which results to loss of elasticity. This causes the skin to sag and stretch, causing the stretch marks to appear. The red skin striation of the fresh stretch marks fades into a silvery hue. While anyone can get stretch marks, especially as a result of rapid weight gain, smoking accelerates the formation of these marks.


Yellow fingers

It is quite common to see smokers with yellowing or brown teeth. If you look closely, you will also see that the smoker has stained fingers and nails as well. That is not too bad, right? Well, a quick online search reveals that the finger stains can be removed by bleaching, using lemon juice or scrubbing with steel wool. Would it not be easier to just quit?

Parting Shot

Cigarette smoking has been named as one of the primary causes of skin cancer; you can check out more facts about skin cancer. In addition to causing other cancers, smoking is also responsible for a myriad health issues. If you are an avid smoker, it is advisable to quit before it is too late!