Do you care about your physical appearance? You exercise regularly, take care of yourself, visit all possible beauty salons, your blood count and laboratory are ok, you eat healthily, you get enough sleep… but do you smoke? If the answer is yes, then you will be very disappointed to find that smoking greatly impairs your physical appearance.
Smoking is harmful to health, the birds on the branch know that, and we all agree with this statement. But did you know how smoking can damage your physical appearance? If you smoke, you probably already know that you need to stop this bad habit. Smoking is bad for your heart, lungs, brain, and even for your sex life.
Let’s face it: you would stop this bad habit right away if the harmful effects of smoking were a little more obvious. What if each cigarette slowly creates some damage on your face, for example?
Well, smoking really hurts your appearance. Read on and discover all the ways smoking destroys your appearance.
Thinning hair due to smoking
As if wrinkled skin wasn’t enough, smoking also hurts your hair and scalp. Experts think that toxic chemicals in smoke can damage the DNA in hair follicles and thus create free radicals that damage cells.
The end result? Smokers have sparse hair that tends to settle earlier than non-smokers. That is, if they have hair at all.
In addition, the skin disease seborrhea occurs more often in smokers than in non-smokers.
Men who smoke longer are up to twice as likely to lose hair as non-smokers, taking into account factors that increase the risk of baldness, such as aging and genetics.
Smoking and dark circles
Don’t you hate when you can’t sleep – so dark circles appear on your face? If you smoke, you are four times more likely to notice dark circles, unlike non-smokers.
Why does smoking cause sleep problems that lead to dark circles? It is possible that withdrawal from nicotine at night causes restlessness, stress, and dizziness. And unfortunately, poor sleep greatly affects your appearance.
Research shows that smokers do not sleep as soundly as non-smokers, and when you do not get enough sleep, you damage your appearance in several ways. One of the most immediate and most pronounced side effects of sleep deprivation is dark circles under the eye.
Loss of natural skin glow and acne due to smoking
Have you ever noticed how a smoker’s skin sometimes seems exhausted? Smokers’ skin is often characterized by wrinkles, thinness, and gray skin, which is definitely caused by smoking. Cigarette smoke contains carbon monoxide, which replaces the oxygen in your skin, and nicotine, which reduces blood flow, leaving the skin dry and gray.
All this, in addition to numerous other harmful chemicals in cigarettes, also makes the skin more susceptible to acne and pimples. Cigarette smoking also destroys many nutrients, including vitamin C, which help protect and repair skin damage.
To be honest, psoriasis is an autoimmune skin condition that can occur even if you never touch a cigarette. However, if you smoke, the risk of developing this condition, which is characterized by flaking of the skin, increases – and a lot.
According to a 2007 study, if you smoke a pack of cigarettes a day for 10 years or less, the risk of psoriasis increases by 20%; 11-20 years and your risk is 60% higher; and for those who have been smoking for more than two decades, the risk of psoriasis is more than twice as high. Even passive smoking during pregnancy or childhood is associated with a higher risk of psoriasis.
Wouldn’t you like to have bright white teeth like Hollywood actors? If you smoke, you can say goodbye to that dream. Nicotine in cigarettes is the one that can stain teeth. So, in addition to increasing the cost of buying cigarettes, add the cost of teeth whitening.
A professional procedure for whitening your teeth is not cheap at all.
Smoking puts you at greater risk for all types of dental problems, including oral cancer and gum disease. In fact, according to research, smokers are up to six times more likely than non-smokers to develop gum disease, which can lead to tooth loss.
Premature aging and wrinkles as a consequence of smoking
In addition to the internal diseases that smoking can cause, this bad habit can also have a negative effect on your physical appearance. Smoking can accelerate the aging process, causing premature wrinkles. Cigarettes prevent the blood from flowing into the skin, not allowing it to receive vital nutrients in order to stay healthy. Although skin effects may appear slowly, wrinkles may form after only 10 years of smoking.
How many times have you just noticed that a person looks older than they really are – and smokes? This is no accident. Experts agree that smoking accelerates aging, so smokers look 1.4 years older than non-smokers on average.
Why does smoking cause wrinkles? Because it prevents blood flow that keeps the skin supple and healthy.
Lines around the lips due to smoking
Smoking affects the area around your mouth. Smokers use certain muscles around their lips that cause them to have dynamic wrinkles that non-smokers do not have. Second, you have a loss of elasticity. Together, these factors can lead to deep lines around the lips.
The nicotine in cigarette smoke can not only make your teeth (and the walls of your home) brown or yellow, but it is also known to stain both your fingers and nails.
Age spots are spots of darker skin color that are common on the face and hands. Although anyone can develop these spots due to spending too much time in the sun, research shows that smokers are more susceptible.
Nicotine causes vasoconstriction, a narrowing of blood vessels that can restrict the flow of oxygen-rich blood, to tiny blood vessels on the face or other parts of the body. This means that your wounds will need more time to heal and you will have scars that are bigger and redder than if you do not smoke.
Several studies have found that smokers have fewer healing wounds, such as after surgeries such as facelifts, tooth extraction, and periodontal procedures. When cigarettes damage the skin of the face, you will find it harder to repair that damage with cosmetic surgery than people who have never smoked.
For reasons that are not entirely clear, smokers are more susceptible to infections with the human papillomavirus, a large family of viruses that can cause warts – including genital warts.
While genital warts are caused by sexually transmitted types of HPV, smoking is also a risk factor. Even if we take into account the number of sexual partners, women who smoke are almost four times more likely to have genital warts than non-smokers, according to one study.
Smoking is the leading cause of cancer, including cancer of the lungs, throat, mouth, and esophagus, so it should come as no surprise that cigarettes can increase the risk of skin cancer. In fact, according to a 2001 study, smokers are three times more likely to develop squamous cell carcinoma, the second most common type of skin cancer, than non-smokers.
Stretch marks due to smoking
The nicotine found in cigarettes damages the fibers and connective tissue in your skin, causing a loss of elasticity. Stretch marks, red stripes on the skin that can gradually fade into a silvery shade, are formed when you quickly lose weight or gain weight. Anyone can get stretch marks with rapid weight gain (as in pregnancy), but cigarettes can be a contributing factor.
Cigarettes can be an appetite suppressant, and smokers often weigh less than non-smokers. However, a 2009 study in the Netherlands showed that smokers have more visceral fat than non-smokers. This deep fat burdens the internal organs and can accumulate in your middle part of the body, which ultimately increases the risk of other diseases, such as diabetes.
The vast majority of the population develops some degree of cataracts by the age of 80. Cigarette smoking can increase the risk of cataracts by putting oxidative stress on the lens of the eye. In fact, continued smoking may increase the risk of cataract extraction by 22%, according to one study. And it’s not too late to give up – the number of cigarettes that were smoked was a more important risk factor than someone who smoked.
Relaxed breasts due to smoking
As a means of suppressing appetite, smoking takes a toll on the body causing a lean and malnourished appearance. Smoking also changes your body, causing sagging breasts. Smoking increases the speed at which the skin loses its elasticity so that the breasts will relax over time.
If you really care about your appearance (but also your health) – it’s never too late to quit smoking. Deciding that you want to give up is half the battle – now, it’s up to you to decide how. While your body begins to experience benefits only 20 minutes after quitting, most people know that it takes more than a day to completely stop this bad habit.