Next month will be Stoptober, the month of encouraging those around you kick their smoking habit or quitting it yourself. Smoking can have such a negative effect on your body in so many ways; both physically and mentally, not to mention your bank balance.
This is a subject I really believe in, and to this day I have never even tried a cigarette. In my opinion Stoptober is a great opportunity for people to support each other and help those around them to achieve something really great; just the fact that you aren’t battling something alone can be an incredible motivation. Because of this, I have been working with the British Skin Foundation to present 5 health and beauty dangers of smoking that can affect your skin and how you look. Of course, there are hundreds of reasons that you should quit, but I have been focusing on the ways that smoking can harm your skin and affect your looks and confidence.
1. Skin ageing
According to Dr. Anjali Mahto – the consultant dermatologist and British Skin Foundation spokesperson, the skin is vulnerable – just like any other organ, to the damage caused by smoking. The doctor recommends quitting smoking to prevent the worsening of any pre-existing skin conditions, and of course to encourage healthy skin.
The British Skin Foundation adds that smoking accelerates the aging of your skin, as it produces the enzyme matrix Metalloproteinase-1 and reduces oxygen, both of which lead to degradation of elastin collagen.
Smokers usually develop early onset crow’s feet, wrinkles around the mouth and smoker’s lines. This has actually been the case since the first studies which were carried out in the 1970s. Some evidence has also suggested that women are more likely to be affected more than their male counterparts.
2. Delays in the healing of skin
According to Mahto, the healing of wounds after a trauma or surgery can take a little longer if the individual is a smoker. There is also a higher risk of wound infection and failure of skin grafts.
Smoking can also lead to the development and persistence of leg ulcers. This is due to the nicotine and carbon monoxide, which can lead to vasoconstriction. Mahto further explains that this will prevent oxygen from reaching the skin which will, in turn, slow down new collagen production.
3. Skin cancer
Mahto warns that cigarette smokers have double the risk of developing a type of skin cancer known as Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC). They are also known to have a higher risk of developing oral cancer, with 75% of these cases being experienced by smokers.
4. Skin disorders
According to Mahto, certain skin disorders like Hidradenitis, Suppurtiva, Psoriasis, and Discoid Lupus affect smokers more frequently compared to non-smokers.
Mahto adds that smoke exposure increases the risk of Psoriasis, and that smokers suffering from this are less likely to improve compared to non-smokers. However, those who do suffer from Psoriasis and quit smoking will notice an improvement in their condition.
5. Smoker’s acne
The top line from the British Skin Foundation says that apart from premature ageing of the skin, those smoking (especially female smokers) are more likely to experience a condition known as ‘smoker’s acne’.
Researchers writing in the British Journal of Dermatology discovered that this type of acne is characterised by large blackheads and blocked pores. However, they are less inflamed compared to regular acne.
Everyone knows that quitting isn’t an easy thing to do by any means. There are a number of ways to help with this if you are thinking of getting involved, such as using Nicotene Replacement Therapy (NRT) methods. I’m sure you will have noticed that the current most popular method is electronic cigarettes which contain an eliquid providing nicotine to stop the cravings.
Will you be taking part in Stoptober or know anyone else who will be? Have you tried e-cigarettes or any other methods to help you to quit smoking? Let me know in the comments below.!