Smokers already know they need to quit smoking for their health. What they may not know is how bad smoking is for their appearance. The effects of smoking over time can be seen by the naked eye, enough that Dr. Douglas Model coined the term “smoker’s face” in 1985 to describe the long term physical changes.
“These characteristics were typical of long-term smokers and could be observed regardless of the age of the smoker, their weight, or the degree of their exposure to the sun.”
The 15 ways smoking affects your looks are below:
Dull, dehydrated Skin: Studies reveal the skin of smokers often displays more wrinkles, gauntness and dullness than non-smokers. This is a result of the carbon monoxide emitted by the cigarette smoke displacing oxygen in the skin and depleting the nutrients that help protect and repair skin damage.
Bags under the eyes: Smoking can actually cause disrupted sleep as smokers may experience nicotine withdrawals during the night. With poor sleep, smokers often wake up tired with bags under their eyes and dark circles.
Thinner Hair: Researchers believe that toxic chemicals from cigarette smoke damage the DNA in hair follicles resulting in thinner hair and early graying. In addition, it has been determined that smoking can increase the risk of hair loss and baldness in both men and women.
Cataracts: By the age of 80, more than half of Americans have developed cataracts to some degree and smoking increases the risk by putting oxidative stress on the lens of the eye and increasing cataract extraction by 22%. Studies found that with cataracts, the amount of cigarettes smoked was a more deciding factor in developing the condition than the length of time one had been a smoker.
Bulging Tummy: Smokers often have a lower body weight than non-smokers as cigarettes can be an appetite suppressant, however a recent study showed that smokers have more visceral fat than those who do not smoke, which can accumulate in the mid-section.
Stretch Marks: Fibers and connective tissues found in the skin can be damaged by smoking thus causing them to loose elasticity and strength. Stretch marks usually appear on the skin with rapid weight gain but smoking can also be a contributing factor.
Skin Cancer: A recent study showed that smokers are three time more likely than non-smokers of developing squamous cell carcinoma, which is a type of skin cancer.
Warts: Smokers are more at risk of contracting human papillomavirus, which is a large family of viruses that can cause warts. For reasons that are not entirely clear to the medical community, smoking appears to be a risk factor in contracting these afflictions with women being more susceptible than me of contracting genital warts.
Wound Healing: Numerous studies have shown that smoking can significantly reduce not only the speed of your recovery after a surgery but also the actual wound healing. In fact, many cosmetic surgeons are even wary of performing procedures on those who smoke.
Psoriasis: Psoriasis is an autoimmune-related skin condition which can affect smokers. In fact, after smoking one pack a day for 10 years, the risk of developing psoriasis increases by 20% and as much as 60% for those smoking 10-20 years.
Stained Teeth: The nicotine in cigarettes stains teeth. Although teeth whitening procedures are available and commonly performed, they are quite costly and can lead to tooth sensitivity.
Premature Aging and Wrinkles: Studies show that smoking can accelerate aging as it reduces the blood supply that keeps skin tissue supple and healthy. Smokers will develop wrinkles earlier and usually look 1.4 years older than non-smokers. In addition, prominent lines and wrinkles develop in areas of a smokers face that do not develop on faces of non-smokers
Yellow Fingers: Not only does the nicotine in cigarettes stain teeth but it will also stain fingers and nails, clothing, walls and many more things. The nicotine contained in the cigarette smoke will easily attach and stain everything it comes into contact with.
Scarring: Because nicotine reduces the flow of blood in the blood vessels, it reduces the amount of oxygen-rich blood to flow to the different parts of the body. This will not only cause wounds to take longer to heal but will also leave bigger and redder scars.
Tooth Loss: Smokers are more at risk than non-smokers of dental problems, oral cancer and gum disease which can all cause tooth loss. In fact, smokers are 6 times more likely than non-smokers of developing gum disease.
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