Smokers know that they need to quit. Smoking is bad for the lungs, heart, brain, sex life and the skin. But even if you’ve kicked the habit recently, smoking still leaves some traces. It’s not as obvious as a black pockmark on your skin but it can damage your looks. Take a look at how smoking is ruining your appearance.
Icky Yellow Teeth
Who doesn’t like a set of white teeth to cap off that dazzling smile? If you’re a smoker kiss white teeth goodbye. Nicotine in cigarettes causes discoloration in the teeth making it appear yellower than usual. Smoking contributes to an increase in your dental health. It also causes tooth loss and gum disease. Consider the fact that you have to buy cigarettes to feed your habit. Add this to professional teeth whitening, dental surgery and other dental expenses that can cost anywhere from $500-$100 per session and you now have a very expensive bad habit.
Nicotine also discolors skin and you can tell if a person is a smoker thanks to the stain on his fingers and nails.
A few lines can make us look wise and distinguished but premature wrinkles are not the signs of being wiser but can be the result of smoking. According to studies smoking accelerates aging by constricting blood vessels in the face restricting their blood supply. When this happens skin is starved of rejuvenating nutrients and vitamins resulting in premature wrinkles.
Lighting up can cause hair to turn brittle and dull looking. There is also a link between gray hair, hair loss and smoking. The brittleness and dullness is caused the constriction of the blood vessels inhibiting blood flow to the skin. As a result nourishment is not effectively and efficiently delivered to these areas. Hair loss and premature graying has been linked to smoking largely due to the hormonal changes the body undergoes when lighting up. According to research hormones affect the hair follicles as smoking interferes with blood circulation and hormone production in the scalp.
Scientists aren’t exactly sure as to the reason why but smokers are more susceptible to infections caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) compared to non-smokers. This family of viruses causes warts including genital warts. Genital warts are sexually transmitted diseases however studies show that smokers are still 4 times more likely to contract genital warts regardless of the number of sexual partners. According to studies smoking makes the body less able to fight off infection making smokers develop genital warts more frequently than non-smokers.
Many people think that skin cancer is caused by overexposure to the sun. Aside from increasing risk of cancers of the lung, throat and mouth; smoking can also boost the risk of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), a type of skin cancer by 52%. This is the second type of skin cancer affecting more than 700,000 thousand Americans annually. According to studies even those who smoke just a few cigarettes per day can be affected. Studies suggest that the increased risk is attributed to tobacco’s effect on the immune system. And since smokers have compromised immune systems this makes them more susceptible to SCC.