What Are The Various Skin Changes Caused By Smoking?
If you smoke tobacco then you should understand that you are causing a lot of damage to your skin. It is important to control on your tobacco consumption.
How does smoking damage the skin?
Smoking causes oxidative stress and thus, insufficient oxygen makes the skin resulting in blood vessel occlusion and tissue ischaemia. Some of the damages that happen to your skin include:
- Smoking and aging skin
- Temporary yellowing of fingers and fingernails
- Discolored teeth
- Black hairy tongue
- Facial wrinkles and furrows
- Slack jawline and baggy eyelids
- Uneven skin coloring - greyish, yellow with prominent blood vessels (telangiectasia)
- Dry and coarse skin
Smoking affects the aging of skin
It is not certain exactly how smoking causes early aging of the facial skin. Theories include:
- Skin getting burned from the heat while smoking a cigarette
- Elastic fibres of the skin getting changed (elastosis )
- Vasoconstriction or narrowing of blood vessels
- Reducing moisture in the skin
- Reduction in vitamin A levels
Smoking causes delays in wound healing and also causes problems like surgical wounds and skin injuries. In addition, it increases the risk of graft or flap failure, wound infection, death of tissue and blood clot formation. Some of the reasons for this could be:
- Vascoconstriction and lack of oxygen reaching skin cells
- Delayed migration of keratinocytes
- Reduced collagen synthesis
- Delayed growth of new blood vessels within the wound
- Smoking causes development of leg ulcers, diabetic foot ulcers, arterial ulcers and calciphylaxis
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