It is easy to distinguish a smoker from a non-smoker by looking at his or her skin, fingers and face. Smoking not only causes yellowed fingers and fingertips or premature wrinkling but also a variety of serious skin problems. For instance, smoking increases the risk of developing psoriasis, a chronic skin problem, which is not only unsightly but also painful.
Clinical studies establishing the link between smoking and skin problems
Many studies have established the negative effect of smoking on skin. A recent study in South Korea involving smokers and ex-smokers between the age of 20 and 69 found that, out of the 2 groups smokers had a higher amount of wrinkles. The study also showed that the ex smokers age had less wrinkles than those who still smoke.
The vulnerability of skin to smoke and other substances
Skin is the most sensitive and vulnerable of all body parts. It is exposed to smoke directly as well as indirectly. Smoke released in the environment has a drying effect on the surface of your skin. Inhaling smoke restricts blood vessels, which hampers the flow of blood to your skin and deprives skin of oxygen and essential nutrients. Smoking also leads to the creasing of your mouth, the hollowing of your cheeks and premature wrinkling around your eyes and your mouth. Smoking depletes the natural level of vitamin A in your body, an essential nutrient needed for the protection of your skin.
How does smoking cause skin problems?
The most likely cause behind skin problems in smokers is an increased production of harmful enzymes that break down collagen in the skin. Collagen is a protein type that helps to keep the skin smooth and supple by protecting its elasticity. Research has shown that smoking causes wrinkles and damage to skin prematurely, by up to 10 to 20 years. Some of the damage done to the skin by smoking is irreversible, therefore the sooner you quit smoking, the better.
Options to quit smoking
Chantix and Zyban are 2 options you can take to help you to quit smoking. Both these drugs are FDA approved and safe and effective options to quit smoking. However, you must not take both these drugs simultaneously to increase your chances of success in quitting smoking. Consult a doctor or a healthcare professional to discover how well these treatments can work for you.
By Hayden Eck
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