How smoking harms your skin

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It’s a well-known fact that smoking is bad for your health.

Smoking can cause damage to almost every organ in the body, including the body’s largest organ – the skin. Advances in medical knowledge have enabled professionals to educate us on the way that smoking impacts our health, and we are well aware of the effects it can have on the heart and lungs. The damage that occurs on the inside of the body is not outwardly seen, however, when it comes to the complexion, the effects are visible.

Premature ageing – When visiting Āatma Aesthetics’ website you will find that many of the skin conditions that relate to ageing can also be affected by this harmful lifestyle choice. Cigarette smoke contains nicotine and 4,000 other chemicals. These substances can play their part in speeding up the natural decline of collagen and elastin (the building blocks of the skin’s internal structure), which is a big factor in the cause of premature ageing. Facial wrinkles, such as: crow’s feet, forehead lines, lip lines and crepey skin can result from the skin’s weakened structure, as well as the lack of hydration; both internally and externally. The repeated motion of pursing the lips to inhale on a cigarette, increases facial movement around the mouth, contributing to tired muscles that lead to deeper wrinkles forming – and is why vertical lip lines are often referred to as ‘smokers’ lines’. As collagen and elastin break down, the skin becomes thinner (known medically as atrophy) and facial volume is lost. This can contribute to the face developing a sunken / deflated appearance, and a change in the contouring of the cheeks and jaw, sooner than one often would like.

Another concern that contributes to ageing skin is a change in its even tone. Just like the sun’s UV rays, smoking damages the skin’s cells and can inhibit effective repair and regeneration. Damaged skin cells are more vulnerable to the effects of the overproduction of melanin – the skin’s natural pigment – resulting in the formation of small darkened patches.

Poor circulation – Nicotine can contribute to the narrowing of blood vessels in the skin, which can restrict the flow of blood. This decreases the amount of oxygen and other nutrients that the skin receives, which affects its overall health and functioning. A lack of nutrients and oxygen can leave the skin looking pale or dull, which can give a generally unhealthy or tired appearance.

Poor wound healing – The natural repair of the skin and tissues can be affected by a number of different smoking-related factors. As nicotine disrupts the flow of blood and oxygen, this can slow down the process of healing. As a consequence this gives the skin time to develop other concerns such as: infections, tissue necrosis (when the cells start to perish) and blood clots. The chemicals present in cigarette smoke not only speed up the rate at which collagen is broken down in the skin, they can also prevent the regrowth of new fibres – and as scar tissue is made up of collagen, it is essential in the repair of purposeful or accidental wounds.

Skin disorders – Conditions such as psoriasis and eczema are often accelerated in smokers. As a poor condition of the skin and a weaker immune system are more likely with smokers, skin disorders can be more difficult to treat and it is likely that healing can take longer.

The only takeaway advice that comes from this blog is that stopping smoking (or not starting at all) can have great benefits for your complexion. As the blood flow starts to improve the skin can receive the oxygen and nutrients it needs. This will help the skin to function more effectively, and increase its ability to naturally regenerate and repair itself. In turn the skin will become healthier and brighter.

Although giving up smoking is tremendously beneficial to your health and the appearance of your skin, there are some concerns such as hyperpigmentation and the effects of ageing, that may need some help to be reduced. This is where Āatma Aesthetics can lend a hand. Profhilo is a great treatment for improving the quality of the skin. The slow release of hyaluronic acid, administered at specific points on the face can increase levels of collagen and boost hydration. The results can produce firmer skin that is also fuller and has a more radiant appearance. Working at a cellular level, a course of Profhilo treatments could be just what your skin needs to bounce back to its former glory.

Just ask Dr. Shaan and book your consultation, today!

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