Smoking is a habit that harms not only the person who smokes but whoever comes around and is forced to breathe the smoke in. Free radicals are produced in our organism even when we breathe the smoke passively. The large amount of free radicals cannot be fought by even very strong antioxidants such as: bio-flavonoids, vitamin C, A or E, mainly because these are able to work only in the epidermal part of our skin. First of all free radicals make our skin lose its smoothness and elasticity, then they make wrinkles and brown speckles appear, skin becomes dry, corneous and finally, free radicals damage blood-vessels. Besides free radicals, during the process of smoking more than four thousand other extremely dangerous and toxic substances are being produced, e.g. tar, carbon dioxide, arsenide, prussic acid and lead. These toxic substances are responsible for lowering the levels of vitamins A, C and E in our body. These vitamins, as we already know, protect our skin from the negative influence of free radicals and make the skin elastic, stimulating its regeneration.
As a result of smoking, the microcirculation is disturbed, in blood-vessels particularly. You can say that skin cells are being suffocated by smoke which reduces the amount of oxygen in the human body and instead it increases the amount of toxic carbon dioxide. This is why the so-called “tobacco face" person looks tired, has got a grey complexion often with enlarged blood-vessels. Many of you may think then: "It doesn’t concern me. I don’t smoke a whole package a day. Just two or three light cigarettes, that’s all." However, while you smoke one cigarette you cause the contraction of your skin blood-vessels which lasts up to 90 minutes after you finish smoking. Therefore, a smoker’s blood-vessels can receive one fourth of blood less than a non-smoker’s. As a result, cells of the former reveal oxygen deficiency and the lack of nutritive components in them. In time, such a person’s complexion may lose its pink and healthy coloring and it may start looking pale, grey and poor.
Anemic anoxia of the facial skin also disturbs the production of collagen and elastic fibers which are responsible for skin’s elasticity. These fibers get partially damaged, which makes skin thinner, with some irregular callosities and deep wrinkles, especially around the mouth.
Smoking also causes some necrotic changes inside the skin, which simply means that many cells die and they cannot regenerate or reanimate. During smoking, the level of estrogens may be lowered, which lowers the amount of collagen fibers and in turn, on makes skin dry. In addition, smoking also disturbs the process of wounds and injuries healing.
Of course smoking also causes many other negative changes inside our bodies for instance; it limits blood-flow inside blood-vessels, reduces the ability of blood to transport oxygen and weakens the immunology system. All that damage becomes visible outside our body in the first place.
Other physical effects of smoking are: fragile nails, hair loss, and aggravation of many skin diseases such as: common acne, acne rosacea and often recurrence of psoriasis. Furthermore, we can observe yellow spots on nails, hands and teeth as well as worsening of sense of taste and smell.
Women who have been smoking for many years consult cosmetologists in order to find help with their look and skin problems. However, for those women who smoke the undertaken surgical intervention can never bring the satisfying effects. Therefore, plastic surgeons are unwilling to do any lifting or grafting for patients who smoke because their skin heals with much difficulty and it is very probable that complications will occur later on.
Read more: Health Problems and Skin Diseases Caused by Smoking Cigarettes