Smoking, your skin, and treatment options

Posted by Monarch Plastic Surgery

Jun 13, 2014 9:30:00 AM

smoking-effects-on-skinYour skin is your largest organ, and is the first thing most people notice when they look at you. When we have healthy habits and take care of ourselves through a healthy diet, exercise, and getting plenty of rest, the skin glows. We look youthful, healthy, and energetic. But, what happens if you’ve been a smoker? What happens to your skin after you quit smoking? It turns out that quitting smoking isn’t just good for your heart and lungs, but it is also good for your skin.

The effects of smoking on the skin

Although everyone ages, smoking typically accelerates the process -- making you appear much older than you really are compared to your non-smoking peers. Smokers tend to develop more wrinkles around the nose and mouth, as well as sagging skin along the chin and jaw compared to non-smokers. Smokers also typically experience more sagging of the lower eyelids. Just as smoking causes the arteries within the cardiovascular system to narrow and harden over time, it also causes the skin to lose elasticity and fullness. Because of smoking’s effect on the circulatory system, the amount of oxygen and nutrient rich blood making its way to the skin is decreased -- resulting in dehydration of the skin. 

What happens to the skin after quitting smoking?

If you have already quit smoking, you may have already began to see the benefits in your skin. If you haven’t quit, perhaps the improvements to the skin long-term will prompt you to start making a plan to quit. The body has a remarkable ability to heal itself (to a degree) after smoking, and the longer you are tobacco-free, the more benefits your body will reap. Your lungs and heart will begin to repair themselves -- leading to better oxygenation of the blood and improved blood flow throughout the body, including to the skin.

What if the damage is too great for the skin to repair itself?

If you were a long-time smoker or smoked heavily before quitting, you may find that your body and skin won’t recover quite as quickly as you would like. If this is true for you, skin rejuvenation procedures such as dermal fillers might be of benefit. Dermal fillers not only fill out wrinkles and creases in the face, but some may also stimulate new collagen production under the skin to rebuild fullness and fill lines and wrinkles from the inside out. For surface damage done to the skin as a result of smoking, many patients also find repair and relief from signs of aging with chemical peels, laser resurfacing, or medical facials, depending on the extent of the damage.

To learn more about treatment options to help restore and repair your skin after damage caused by smoking, the sun, or other factors, call Monarch Skin Rejuvenation Center today at (913) 317-9386 to schedule a consultation.

Topics: Skincare

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