The Effects of Smoking on Facial Skin For Those With Preexisting Skin Conditions

We all know that smoking is bad for your health. It is possible you have heard this many times, and it is no longer something new. When talking about the detrimental effects of smoking, what comes to mind first is cancer. However, we do not stop to acknowledge the effects that tobacco and cigarettes could have on that largest organ of your body, the skin. In this article, we will outline the effects of smoking on facial skin especially if you had a pre-existing condition.

Effects of Smoking on Facial Skin

Tobacco smoke consists of thousands of toxic substances like mutagens and carcinogens. Numerous researches have associated smoking with heart disease, cancer, and lung disease. Smoking impacts negatively on your overall health and facial skin. The following are some of the effects of smoking.

Prolongs Healing of Wounds

Several studies show that smoking interferes with the wound healing process. Consequently, you will experience higher rates of wound infection, reduced wood strength, blood clots formation, skin graft failure, and tissue death. Cigarette smoke contains toxins that lead to vascular constriction. Vascular constriction slows down the flow of blood and impedes the ability of the body to heal skin’s preexisting condition.

Additionally, nicotine makes blood platelets more sticky, causing blood clots that may block the small vessels. Smoking prevents the formation of collagen, leading to interruption of the normal inflammatory process during healing. Also, it delays new blood vessels formation within your wound. You may notice this immediately after surgery.

Smokers face a higher risk of complications for patients who need to undergo surgery for skin cancer or damaged facial skin. They have a greater risk of wound opening up and injection of the surgical site. Cosmetic procedures that are done to reconstruct facial appearances require complicated repairs like a skin graft. The healing process is often successful for non-smokers than smokers. The most common indicators of poor wound healing are increased risk for skin infections and slowed healing; smoking also slows down the healing of other skin wound types. Smokers need to pay attention to minor abrasions and wounds on their skin to ensure there are no signs of inflammation.

Smoking Accelerates Signs of Aging

Ultra violet rays from the sun have adverse effects on the body like changing hormone levels and the way your body replicates cells which speed up the formation of wrinkles, fine lines, deep creases, puffiness below your eyes, uneven skin complexion, crow’s feet, pronounced lines between your eyebrows and other symptoms of aging.

Smoking can also increase the rate of the aging process. It is an independent factor that increases the rate at which wrinkles form on your face. Although how this happens is not well-explained, studies explain that smoking leads to the formation of oxidants and breaks down elastic fibers and collagen, which exposes the skin to the adverse effects of the sun. Moreover, smokers often have smokers lines, also referred to as puppet lines that look like wrinkles around their mouths. These lines are caused by repetitive pursing of lips and squinting eyes.

Inflammatory Skin Conditions

Individuals with preexisting skin conditions can experience inflammatory skin diseases when they smoke. The more you smoke, the severity of the inflammatory conditions like psoriasis and lupus. Although smoking is not the major cause of these diseases, studies reveal that smoking increases the risk of developing them.

Skin Discoloration

Yellow stains on your fingers are the most common sign of smoking. Smokers who spend many years holding cigarettes get yellow stains from the cigarette’s toxins which you can get rid of by cleaning. Many people do not know that smoking also causes you to develop a yellow or grey skin tone. Additionally, others develop uneven skin complexions, and the face is filled with discolored spots. Smoking has long-term effects on your face, including dry skin, baggy eyes, and a saggy jawline.

Dry facial skin results from the heat and un-inhaled smoke, which may damage your skin. A forty-year-old smoker will have skin looking like that of a seventy-year-old non-smoker. The toxic substances in the smoke reduce vitamin A levels in the skin and break down elastic fibers, resulting in fast aging.

Increases Risk for Oral Skin Infections

Most of us do not imagine that a dermatologist can treat the inside of the mouth. However, the inside of the mouth has a soft tissue called mucosa, which is still part of what dermatologists deal with. Smokers increase the risk of getting infections in the mucosa leading to oral candidiasis, gingival disease, hairy tongue, oral lichen planus, nicotine stomatitis, and gingivitis.

Smoking Increases Risk for Skin Cancer

Several studies have found a link between smoking and skin cancer. A few researchers suggest that the carcinogens in cigarettes significantly increase smokers’ risk of getting skin cancer like squamous cell carcinoma. But, some researchers have disputed these claims. So, there is a need to research more on the subject before a connection is made. In addition, the majority of cases of oral and lip cancers occur in heavy smokers.


Smoking has short and long-term effects on your skin and mucous membranes. Keep in mind that some of these effects can be life-threatening. Smoking and the use of tobacco are bad for your skin, particularly your facial skin. Quitting smoking has numerous advantages. It will help improve your overall health and the appearance of your skin. In addition, if you stop smoking, your blood flow will recover, meaning your skin will receive adequate oxygen and nutrients it needs to get a healthier complexion. The stains on your nails and fingers will also disappear, and you will have whiter teeth.

An individual who smokes has a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease and dying of lung cancer. While nicotine is safer for smokers, you should also know that nicotine has almost similar effects to smoking. Stopping smoking is hard, especially if you have been a long-term smoker. It is crucial to seek professional services if you need assistance quitting smoking.