The effects of smoking on the lungs and other internal organs are well-documented. But smoking can also cause premature aging of your most visible external organ: your skin. This Monday, strengthen your resolve to quit and put a stop to preventable skin damage!
If you’re a new smoker, you may not see the effects that cigarettes have on your skin in the mirror. According to the Mayo Clinic, wrinkles caused by smoking start showing up after about 10 years – the more you smoke, the more damage will occur. Your face isn’t the only skin surface that will suffer from smoking; wrinkles may appear on your arms as well.
The trouble lies in the ability to get the right amount of oxygen to your skin. Nicotine causes blood vessels to constrict, which prevents the blood from getting oxygen and nutrients from going where they need to go. On top of what nicotine is doing inside your body, the chemicals in the smoke directly affect the collagen and elastin that make your skin bounce back. Instead, the exposure to smoke makes your skin sag and lose its flexibility. When your skin can’t bounce back, it’s easier for wrinkles to form, especially after the repeated pursing of the lips while puffing on cigarettes (aka “cigarette lines”).
If you quit and stay quit Monday, you can prevent any further damage to your skin and start regaining a more youthful glow after about 20 or 30 days. To further give your skin a boost, stay out of the sun (and wear sunblock), cut down your alcohol intake, and start getting active. You may wish want to visit a dermatologist to help treat the fine lines that have formed, but quitting now will reinvigorate your skin’s health!
Start your Monday-based quitting plan today! If you need help right now, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW.