What does smoking do to your appearance?

From increasing the risk of a stroke, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and heart disease, to the fact that tobacco smoke can cause serious damage inside and outside your body, there are many risks associated with smoking.

It can take a long time for many of the issues covered above to develop and cause alarm bells to begin ringing, with some possibly never to be seen at all. However, there are effects that smoking will have on your appearance too — these are issues which both yourself and others will clearly see.

Check out the effects that smoking has on your appearance and consider whether it’s time you start your stop smoking journey:

How will smoking affect my skin?

Skin ages quicker and exhibits a grey and dull appearance as a result of smoking, due to the habit limiting the amount of oxygen and nutrients which will reach your skin. Premature aging of your skin by between 10 and 20 years will also occur from smoking.

Read more : Home Remedies to Quit Smoking

Be aware of vasoconstriction as well — caused by nicotine, this is a condition which results in blood vessels narrowing and oxygen-rich blood flow to the tiny vessels in your face and other parts of your body being limited. The problem of this condition will be seen if you suffer a wound, as vasoconstriction will take it longer to heal and result in scars appearing bigger and redder than those who aren’t affected by the condition.

Your body’s elastin and collagen will be destroyed by the more than 4,000 chemicals contained in tobacco smoke too. These are fibres required to give skin its strength and elasticity — lose them and sagging skin and deeper wrinkles will be the consequence, which will be seen especially around the inner arms, breasts and face.

Have you also heard of smoker’s pucker? This is an occurrence that comes about as smokers use certain muscles around their lips which cause dynamic wrinkles to appear. Combined with a loss of elasticity to the skin, the result in regards to appearance will be deep lines around the lips.

How will smoking affect my hair?

This issue can be covered by the fact that hair grows from follicles — sac-like structures which are found underneath the scalp. However, these need oxygen, essential nutrients and vitamins/minerals in order to function correctly and trigger natural hair growth, but smoking reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that get to your skin.

Follicles which aren’t able to function correctly will cause a disruption in the normal hair growth and loss cycle. A knock-on effect of all of this is hair thinning and eventually hair loss.

How will smoking affect my eyes?

Wrinkles around the outside of your eyes — crow’s feet as this condition is also sometimes referred to as — is something that we will all experience at some point in our lives. However, they develop earlier and go deeper when you smoke due to the heat from lit cigarettes and also as a result of a smoker squinting in an attempt to keep smoke out of their eyes.

It has also been suggested by a Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine study that those who smoke cigarettes will be four times more likely to report feeling unrested after a night’s sleep than those who don’t smoke. The study, which involved the analysis of the sleep architecture of 40 smokers and a matched group of 40 nonsmokers who all undertook home polysomnography, also suggested that smokers spend less time in a deep sleep than non-smokers. Bags under your eyes will be much more likely as a result of all of this where your appearance is concerned.

“It is possible that smoking has time-dependent effects across the sleep period,” Naresh M. Punjabi, MD, PhD, FCCP, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD and the study’s author, stated. “Smokers commonly experience difficulty falling asleep due to the stimulating effects of nicotine. As night evolves, withdrawal from nicotine may further contribute to sleep disturbance.”