Why you need to stop smoking if you want healthy skin
18 Oct 2012
Many people are well aware that smoking on a regular basis carries many health risks, particularly when it comes to skin damage. While many people are rightly concerned about the damage they're doing to the inside of their bodies, it's often the external signs of smoking that is the main driving force behind wanting to quit.
Smoking accelerates the ageing process because it narrows the blood vessels that are crucial for allowing blood to flow around the body. This blood carries oxygen and nutrients to the skin, but when blood's ability to carry oxygen to the skin is hampered, wrinkles start developing at a much younger age. Within 10 years a smoker may have yellowed, wrinkly, leathery skin.
Smoking has also been linked to other skin issues such as acne, psoriasis and longer healing periods for cuts, wounds and flare ups. Most alarmingly, smoking can triple the chances of developing certain kinds of skin cancer.
Help is at hand for people hoping to quit however. The first port of call should be your GP, as the NHS is able to prescribe nicotine patches, gums and inhalers that are essential if you want to wean yourself off cigarettes. You'll need the support of the people closest to you and you'll want to remind yourself why you're quitting when you get a craving - partly because you want healthier looking skin.
Some of the damage that smoking does to your skin won't just go away by itself over time, even with a good skin care routine. However, there are many dermatology treatments that can help reduce the signs of ageing that are so prominent on people that have regularly smoked. The money that smokers save on cigarettes can be spent instead on treatments such as skin peels or anti-wrinkle injections that can help make skin look younger and healthier.