I quit smoking and my skin looks better

There are many reasons to quit smoking, most of them are related to your health. But in addition to improving your health, quitting the cigs will also enhance your look!

Cigarette smoking takes a terrible toll on your skin and in a number of different ways. Much of the damage cannot be undone when you stop smoking but you can at lease ensure that any damage doesn’t get any worse. The really good news is that your skin should start to look better soon after you quit.

what smoking does to the skinHere’s how smoking negatively impacts your skin:

Premature aging

Cigarette smoke contains numerous toxins which the damage collagen and elastin that form the support system for your skin. Collagen and elastin keep your skin firm and supple. If you starve your skin of these vital components, it hardens and loses its elasticity. The result is wrinkling that prematurely ages you. Unfortunately, it is your face that will be most severely affected, especially around your eyes and mouth.

Smokers experience wrinkling much earlier in their lives than non-smokers. In addition to reducing collagen and elastin production, the toxins in cigarette smoke cause a narrowing of your blood vessels and increase the levels of harmful free radicals. These issues will also result in premature aging. To make matters worse, the continual pursing of your lips when you drag on your cigarettes leads to vertical wrinkles developing around your mouth.

It isn’t difficult to see why it is possible to identify a smoker just by looking at their face.

Skin discolouration

Smoking increases the melanin in your skin. This could lead to dark spots appearing. Your fingers will also be impacted by your habit as the nicotine and other toxins in your cigarettes will stain your skin yellow.


Psoriasis is an inflammatory condition that causes your skin to become red and itchy. Studies have shown that smokers are more likely to develop psoriasis than non-smokers. This is probably because nicotine affects both the immune system and cell growth, two factors that are involved in the development of psoriasis. This condition can be distressing and could impact your quality of life.

Acne Inversa

Smoking is a risk factor for developing acne inversa. This is an inflammatory disease which causes lesions to develop on the body in areas where skin rubs against skin, such as the armpits, the groin area and under breasts.


Buerger’s disease is a from of vasculitis and smokers are at much higher risk of suffering from this condition than the general population. Indeed, almost all sufferers are smokers. The disease can be managed but not cured. It is an autoimmune disease that causes your blood vessels to become narrowed and inflamed. The symptoms include pale, blueish or red fingers and toes, painful sores on the fingers and toes and tissue decay. You may also suffer from cold extremities.

Palmar Telangiectasia

Also known as spider veins, palmar telangiectasia is a condition which causes the small blood vessels in your body to dilate and then damage the capillary walls. The condition causes purple patches and traces of veins to be visible, usually on the palms of your hands.


The most common form of eczema is called atopic dermatitis and smoking is a huge risk factor for the condition. Atopic dermatitis manifests itself as dry, itchy patches of skin.

Skin cancer

You probably already know that cigarette smoke contains carcinogens. Smoking is associated with lung cancer but also with squamous cell carcinoma, a type of skin cancer. The disease causes the development of scaly red patches, raised lumps, open sores and growths similar to warts.

Healing speed

The vascular restriction that smoking causes impedes your body’s ability to circulate blood. This slows the process of healing. You might find that even minor cuts and scrapes take longer to clear up if you are a smoker.

What happens when you quit?

If you do have skin issues that are related to your smoking habit, it is vital that you quit smoking as soon as possible. The inflammation of blood vessels that leads to many skin conditions will start to reduce as soon as you quit. Your circulation will improve, delivering more oxygen and nutrients to your skin cells. You should soon start to notice that you look healthier. Any skin discolouration that has appeared will subside and incurable conditions like Buerger’s disease may be alleviated. Although most skin damage isn’t reversible, you will no longer be making any conditions worse. Your yellow fingers will return to their normal colour and your skin will generally appear to be brighter.

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