The statistics of women who smoke are very alarming. According to the report of American Cancer Society, cigarette smoking is already a bigger trend among younger women, with most women learned how to smoke before they reach the age of 18.
In a study, female teens learn this bad habit because of the belief that they will appear sophisticated and independent. That is the common notion as to why many women are succumbed to cigarette smoking. It is also revealed that smoking is their way to cope with stress and depression. Women in rural areas do smoke because it helps them kill time when they feel bored.
Other women turn to smoking to help them shed pounds. Smoking limits their food intake because the body produces adrenaline when they smoke that it supresses their appetite.
If you feel that smoking uplifts women, forget it. There are many reasons why women should kick the bad habit. The ill effects of smoking do not only affect their respiratory system and throat but it affects their skin’s health.
Women who smoke suffer from accelerated skin aging. Smoking produces reactive oxygen species (ROS) chemicals that speed up aging condition. Nicotine is also to blame as it constricts blood vessels that block nutrients entering the blood from reaching the skin cells, causing cells to wither and die. This causes premature aging among women smokers.
Take note of the most common effects of smoking to women’s appearance.
Poor skin tone
If you are a chronic smoker, you are depriving your skin with oxygen and nutrients, making your skin appear pale while others have uneven skin tone.
Nicotine found in cigarettes inhibits blood flow to your skin, resulting to less oxygen and nutrients entering the skin. This causes your facial skin to become dry, pale and wrinkled.
Smoking damages the proteins of the skin, the collagen and elastin. These fibers are essential in providing your skin its strength and elasticity. Did you know that more than 4000 chemicals are found in cigarette smoke? These toxins contribute to sagging skin, deeper lines and premature wrinkles. The number of cigarettes you smoke and the long duration you do the bad habit add to the formation of wrinkles.
Visible age spots
In a study, smokers are more vulnerable to develop age spots due to exposure to cigarette smoking. Age spots are blotches of skin color that are commonly seen on the face and hands.
Sagging arms and breast
Smoking does not only affect the appearance of your face but it also affects your figure. When your skin began to lose elasticity, some parts of the body may start to droop such as inner arms and breasts. Researchers have recognized smoking as major cause of sagging breasts.
Recent studies reveal that smokers have greater chance of developing psoriasis. This is a chronic skin condition causes thick, scaly patches on your complexion. Areas affected are knees, elbows, scalp, hands, feet and back. Patches may differ from color. They may look white, red or silver.
Deep lines around your lips
Smoking also affects the area around your mouth. You develop smoker’s pucker. This condition only appears when you smoke as smoking enables you to use certain muscles around the lips, causing them to form dynamic wrinkles. The act of pursing your lips to inhale cigarette smoke gives wrinkles around your mouth. You increase your risk of elasticity loss. These two can lead to formation of deep lines around the lips. Aside from deep lines around your lips, cigarette smoking also makes your lips darker in shade.
Crow’s feet or eye wrinkles
Heavy smokers are prone to develop eye wrinkles earlier than expected. The heat from cigarette and squinting to keep smoke out of your eyes are factors to visible crow’s feet. On the other hand, the chemicals you inhaled from cigarette cause internal damage to skin structures and blood vessels around your eyes.
Damaged teeth and gums
Smoking does not only turn your teeth to yellow, you also develop other oral diseases such as gum problems, persistent bad breath, and other oral hygiene problems. Smokers are twice as likely to lose teeth as nonsmokers.
When you smoke, the annoying smell of cigarette lingers in your breath, hair and clothes. This toxic odor is a major turnoff to nonsmokers and can even harm people around your most especially children.
If you possessed thin hair or developed thinning hair due to age, it will aggravate your condition if you do not quit smoking as this bad habit accelerates hair loss in women.
Smoking causes your fingernails and the skin of the hands to stain. If you kick the habit, these stains disappear. It is a huge turnoff to ogle at stained nails and hands.
If you smoke for a long time, you are susceptible to develop cataracts. This eye condition occurs as cloudy areas on the lens of the eye that keep light from reaching the retina. This results to serious vision problem if you continue smoking.
How to combat skin damage caused by smoking
Quitting the bad habit of smoking is the ultimate solution to get rid of skin damage and premature aging. However, if you have developed wrinkles and age spots, these conditions do not fade. All you can do is to manage the condition and make your skin appear better. Therefore, you have to include topical retinoids and antioxidants like vitamin C and E to your current skin care regimen. Skin experts also advise to apply sunscreen daily.
Nonetheless, if you want to see dramatic results, several cosmetic procedures can help you enhance your appearance. Laser skin resurfacing and chemical peels remove outer layer of the skin, where the damage is most prominent and visible. Rewarding your skin with special treatments will add motivation to stay away from smoking.
If you want to retain your youthful glow and appearance, quit the bad habit as early as now. The skin hazards smoking does to you can affect your confidence as well as your general health condition in the end.