Heart disease, stroke, a heightened risk of cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease — just a few of the issues linked with smoking. This is not to mention the damage that can be caused inside the body due to the ingredients which make up tobacco smoke.
Many of these issues will take time to develop until they become a cause for concern though, with some never actually seen. However, the detrimental effects that smoking causes on your appearance will be clearer for you and others to see.
Join Nicotinell, which can help you discover how to stop smoking with handy tips and products, as it explores some of the ways that your appearance may be affected by smoking:
Effects caused to your eyes
Everybody will go through a point in their lives where they develop wrinkles around their eyes, which is sometimes referred to as crow’s feet. However, they develop earlier and go deeper when you smoke due to the heat from lit cigarettes and also as a result of a smoker squinting in an attempt to keep smoke out of their eyes.
Bags under your eyes may be witnessed much more often as well. In fact, a study by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine previously suggested that those who smoke cigarettes are four times more likely to report feeling unrested after a night’s sleep than non-smokers. The study, which involved the analysis of the sleep architecture of 40 smokers and a matched group of 40 nonsmokers who all undertook home polysomnography, also suggested that smokers spend less time in a deep sleep than non-smokers.
“It is possible that smoking has time-dependent effects across the sleep period,” acknowledged study author, Naresh M. Punjabi, MD, PhD, FCCP, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD. “Smokers commonly experience difficulty falling asleep due to the stimulating effects of nicotine. As night evolves, withdrawal from nicotine may further contribute to sleep disturbance.”
Effects caused to your skin
The amount of nutrients and oxygen that can reach your skin will be reduced when you smoke. The result of this is that skin will begin to age more quickly, and exhibit a dull and grey appearance. Premature aging of your skin by between 10 and 20 years will also occur from smoking.
Vasoconstriction — a condition where blood vessels narrow and limit the oxygen-rich blood flow to the small vessels found around your face and other parts of your body — is also caused by nicotine. The problem of this condition will be seen if you suffer a wound, as vasoconstriction will take it longer to heal and result in scars appearing bigger and redder than those who aren’t affected by the condition.
The collagen and elastin in your body will be destroyed from many of the 4,000 chemicals which form tobacco smoke as well. These are fibres required to give skin its strength and elasticity — lose them, and sagging skin and deeper wrinkles will be the consequence, which will be seen especially around the inner arms, breasts and face.
Keeping to the face as a focus, the development of smoker’s pucker is caused from smoking, too. This is an occurrence that comes about as smokers use certain muscles around their lips which cause dynamic wrinkles to appear. Combined with a loss of elasticity to the skin, the result with regard to appearance will be deep lines around the lips.
Effects caused to your hair
It might have been more appropriate to have written that last heading as ‘effects caused to your increasing lack of hair’. This is because hair grows from sac-like structures found underneath the scalp called follicles. However, these need oxygen, essential nutrients and vitamins/minerals in order to function correctly and trigger natural hair growth but, as previously discussed, smoking reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that get to your skin.
If follicles are unable to function correctly, the normal hair growth and loss cycle will become disrupted. The overall outcome? Hair to thin, which eventually leads to hair loss.