Does smoking affect your skin?

Most people are aware of the many health hazards of smoking as they pertain to the heart, lungs and the increased risk of many types of cancer.  Some may wonder, however, does smoking affect your skin? Smoking has several negative effects on the health and beauty of your skin and hair.  In case you needed some more reasons to avoid smoking, here are a few:

Does smoking affect your skin
Smoking has a number of negative effects on our skin and hair health.

1. smoking impairs wound healing

Skin structures need oxygen. Smoking reduces blood flow to this tissue. Therefore, smokers who have surgery may take longer to heal their wounds

2. fine lines around the mouth

The physical act of repeatedly pursing your lips to take a drag on a cigarette or cigar can create fine lines around the mouth that result in a more aged appearance. This in addition to the accelerated breakdown of collagen and elastin from the reduced oxygenation of the tissue noted above.

3. hair loss and smoking

A study of men in Asia with androgenetic alopecia (male pattern hair loss), a genetic condition, found that the hair loss was worse in men that smoked. Smoking also causes lupus flares which is associated with several types of hair loss or alopecia.

4. Older looking skin

Twin studies have shown that smoking was equivalent to sun bathing in terms of some of the damage it does to the skin.  Smokers tend to have a more leathered appearance with less sun exposure.

5. Smoking increases flares of genital warts and herpes

The reduced skin oxygenation and blood flow to tissue makes it harder for the body to fight skin infections such as warts and genital herpes.

Related: wart removal nyc

6. Smoking increases flares of psoriasis

Psoriasis is an autoimmune skin and joint disease that is, like smoking, itself associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease such as hypertension.

7. Smoking causes worse outcomes with skin cancer

Smoking is associated with a higher risk of developing skin cancer as well as a lower risk of survival.

8. Smoking causes eczema flares

A study in China found that even second hand smoke was associated with an increase in eczema flares.

Related: 7 Reasons eczema flares up and how to fix it


Does smoking affect your skin? The evidence suggests that it does.  This is why your doctors, including your dermatologist, will recommend that you not smoke. Smoking negatively effects your health and beauty. If you need more advise about how to keep your skin, hair and nail healthy, make an appointment here.


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