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This is Your Skin on Smoking

Posted on Jul 1, 2009 at 5:50AM

Yes, this is your skin on smoking.

picture of a woman's skin smoking and not smoking

Health and Wellness Wednesday

Our dear mother/grandmother loved smoking so much that even after she quit at age 50, she dream-smoked her way through another 20+ years until she succumbed to emphysema.   In her dream she would light her unfiltered Pall-Mall, place it between her pursed lips, inhale a deep and glorious breath wrapping her lungs in a warm blanket of smoke, and exhale a smokeless breath through her nose and mouth. 

Who knows.  Maybe she even dreamt she was Bette Davis in the 1942 movie Now Voyager where the heroine's sexual awakening culminated in leading man Paul Henreid lighting two cigarettes in his mouth, then placing one between her lips.  Very Freudian, but you go, Mom! 

Unfortunately, cigarettes wreak all kinds of havoc on our bodies -- more than the bodies of men.  Research by reputable medical bodies has shown that nictoine is more addictive for women and that the aging effect of smoking on the skin is worse for women.  Woe, is us.  We can't seem to catch a break when it comes to the damn aging process.


Smoking Harms Your Hair

Smokers are 4 times more likely to have these problems with their hair.

* The chemicals in cigarettes starve your hair of oxygen and make it dull, lifeless and brittle.
* Smoking can cause your hair to break off.
* It can cause dull, lank and smelly hair.
* It contributes to hair loss, graying and balding.

Smoking Ruins Your Skin

* It causes premature aging of the skin and ruins your complexion.
* Loss of skin glow and vitality.
* It causes premature facial wrinkling and leathery skin.
* Smoking can also lead to crow's feet.
* Smoking causes varicose veins.
* Your skin develops poor healing abilities.
* It can cause skin cancer.
* Improves chances of developing psoriasis.
* It slows your skin’s healing rate.

Smoking reduces the amount of blood flowing to the skin and dries it out. It constructs the tiny capillaries that nourish the skin. Smoking prevents oxygen and nutrients from getting to the skin . Over time, this means the skin loses elasticity and gets more wrinkled. The appearance of wrinkled, pale and grayish skin is four to five times more frequent in smokers than non-smokers. In 1971 an extensive study showed that the facial skin of long-term smokers was so terribly wrinkled that they looked as if they were 20 years older! Talk about not aging well!!!!

Quitting smoking improves the blood supply to the skin and gives previously pale skin a more 'natural' appearance. A smoker's skin is more apt to wrinkle because the skin's vitamin A content is low compared with that for a non-smoker. Vitamin A protects the skin against strong chemical substances that may damage or destroy it. Smoking also gets in the way of absorption of vitamin C - a vital antioxidant for skin protection and health By quitting, you will improve your skin tone and color. You are less likely to get wrinkles around your eyes and mouth from squinting when smoke gets in your eyes and puckering up when you draw on a cigarette.

Brains on Beauty:  Check back here tomorrow to discover tips to improve your nicotine-damaged skin

Source:  National Cancer Institute

Need help quitting? 

(This public service announcement was brought to you by Mother Blogger.  LOL.  Is Mother Blogger passive-aggressive for posting this article?  You bet your booty she is!)

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