In the era of disposable vapes, cigarettes, and marijuana legalization, smoking continues to be unfortunately popular. However, the negative lifelong impact smoking can have on your body inside and out is no secret. Smoking is most notorious for causing lung cancer and lung disease, but heart disease, vascular disease, and skin damage and aging are just as prevalent.
If you have ever undergone a surgical procedure, you may have noticed that your recovery and aftercare instructions emphasize avoiding smoking. Some surgeons won’t even operate unless someone has stopped smoking for several weeks prior to the procedure. According to the International Journal of Dermatology, smoking slows the body’s natural healing process, worsening inflammatory skin diseases and premature aging.
Tobacco vs. Your Skin
The nicotine found in cigarettes and vapes is not only an addictive substance but also a troublemaker for your skin. Nicotine encourages cell death (apoptosis) in your system, damaging blood vessels and restructuring fibroblasts that contain collagen. Without correct collagen production to keep skin tight and firm, smokers develop sagging skin, deep wrinkles, or even psoriasis as discussed on the National Library of Medicine website. In addition, tobacco smoke of any type contains multiple damaging chemical substances, as do vaping substrates.
What About Marijuana?
It is common knowledge that tobacco products make their users more likely to experience skin damage, but the long-term impacts of marijuana on skin are inconclusive. Smoking in any form carries risks, but because the legalization of marijuana is still so new, not as much formal research has been published on the subject.
Getting an Expert’s Opinion
Smoking is not going to disappear anytime soon, but that doesn’t mean our skin has to suffer. Living in New York City, we understand it’s nearly impossible to completely avoid secondhand smoke, so skin protection is vital. The best way to protect your skin from premature aging, discoloration, and dryness is to create a personalized skincare regimen with the help of an experienced and board-certified dermatologist. To address damage already done, a personalized skincare regimen, chemical peels, and rejuvenating laser treatments, like Fraxel®, are key.
At Art of Dermatology at the Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York, we are dedicated to helping you find solutions to your skin’s unique needs. Not only that, but we are determined to create a judgment-free environment so that we can better serve our entire NYC community. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Krant, and you’ll work as a team to create your customized plan of attack.
Jessica Krant, M.D., MPH, is a board-certified dermatologist with specialized experience in cosmetic, laser, surgical, and medical dermatology, but above all, Dr. Krant is most proud to be a caring, comprehensive physician who takes the time to listen and send her patients home with a smile.