How Quitting Smoking Can Give You Gorgeous Skin

One more reason why you should quit smoking and move to electronic cigarettes is that it destroys your looks. Discover how quitting smoking can reverse the situation and improve skin.

In the war against tobacco there is finally some good news: Across Canada, smoking rates continue falling to their lowest in over 4 decades, even among teenagers, many of them who now see it as not being cool. (The proportion of Canadians between ages 15 and 19 that smoke dropped in 1981 from 44 percent to 18 percent in 2005.)

For the rest of the population, a night out no longer involves coming home with the strong stench of smoke thanks to the smoking ban in public places throughout Canada. Quitting is actually contagious: According to a recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, once a smoker decides to quit, the people around them including family, friends, and social contacts also tend to quit too.

In spite of the dropping rates, close to 20 percent of Canadians aged over 15, which is about 5 million people are still smokers. This carries a heavy toll considering that each year 37,000 Canadians die from tobacco use, which amounts to $17 billion in social costs that includes $4.4 billion in direct healthcare costs.

If you or someone you know is looking for a reason to quit smoking besides the negative impact it has on personal health, know that tobacco can wreck your looks. It can add sagging, wrinkles, discoloration as well as years of age to your appearance. You can suffer permanent damage to critical structures of the skin such as collagen.

According to Dr. Peter Selby, who is a director of addiction programs at the Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, each cigarette contains 4,000 dangerous chemicals and each time you inhale the smoke you are slowly aging your skin, teethe, face, and body.

30 years ago was when the impact of smoking on skin health, wrinkling, and skin resiliency was first observed. However, science now has a much better understanding of the real impact of the toxic chemicals contained in tobacco on many different levels, which leads to what is referred to as “the smoker’s face.”

In 2006, the University of Toronto division of dermatology’s Dr. Anatoli Freiman authored a review of all the research evidence of the effect of tobacco on skin that are largely attributed to the impact of harmful chemicals contained in the smoke including tar, carbon monoxide, nicotine, mercury, ammonia, hydrogen cyanide, cadmium, lead, and formaldehyde.

In combination, the chemicals reduce circulating oxygen, reduce blood flow to the skin, attack the architecture of the skin, and lead to the breakdown of supportive structures including elastin and collagen. The result is extensive wrinkling, especially around the lips and eyes, and is usually permanent. Smoking cigarettes also lowers the amount of water content in the outermost layer of skin, giving the appearance of drier, and more fragile skin.

In addition, Freiman’s research revealed that cigarette smoking can be linked to an increased risk of basal and squamous carcinoma, hair loss, and psoriasis. It can also be linked to worsened skin conditions associated with AIDS, lupus, and diabetes.

It is rather clear what the takeaway is: For a longer life and more beautiful skin, don’t smoke.

Face Facts

Smokers cannot undergo many cosmetic surgery procedures.

Smoking is the greatest risk factor after wound-healing problems. The probability of complications is so high that most plastic surgery decline to perform some surgeries on smokers.

Dr. Nick Carr, who heads the University of British Columbia’s plastic surgery division states that any procedure that involves the surgeon raising a flap of skin and stretching it i.e. tummy tucks, breast lifts, or facelifts, poses great risk since the supply of blood can be compromised. The need for skin grafts, extensive scarring, skin flaps that die, and wounds that don’t heal are some of the potential results.

*This is a collaboration post

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