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Are you Strangling your Skin with Smoke?

First photo (current) – Smoker
Second photo (current) – Non-smoker


We often get asked to rejuvenate skin due to “smoker’s lines” around the mouth.  We most often choose a combination of either CO2 laser resurfacing or radio frequency microneedling, filler, and at home skin care such as Skinmedica HA5 Lip. Before we embark on correcting smoker’s lines or, for that matter, any skin lines or wrinkles or textural concerns, you need to stop smoking. Why? Smoking causes much more skin damage than smoker’s lines. Plus, smoking slows down healing and does not allow for optimal treatment results. 

Second only to the damaging rays of the sun, smoking is a leading cause of premature skin aging. Nicotine alone causes vasoconstriction in the blood vessels, causing less blood flow and oxygen available for the skin’s use. This effect is literally strangling your skin from vital nutrients needed for optimum skin health, called asphyxiated skin. Without a rich blood supply, the elastin fibers and collagen responsible for giving your skin its tone and texture, gets prematurely broken down. 

What is left behind? Sagging, wrinkled skin and an aged look. 

If appearing older than you are doesn’t make you kick the habit, what about losing your youthful glow to dull, gray skin? The carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke depletes many nutrients, including vitamin c, which is you skin’s defense against free radicals.

When it comes to smoking and plastic surgery, healing is negatively impacted.

What about skin effects of cigarettes next of kin, the electronic cigarette?

Electronic cigarettes, or e-cig, are marketed as a safer way to smoke with less harmful ingredients than traditional cigarettes. However, they are not without fault when it comes to skin aging because of the nicotine, again, inhibiting the blood flow. Vaping is a newer practice and therefore the long term results are some what unknown. There are other harmful ingredients besides the nicotine in the liquids used to vape, that as well have less research behind long term use.

How to reverse the effects of smoking?

The first line of defense is to quit smoking. It’s not easy but it is possible. Each day that passes, your skin will receive more of it’s natural supply of oxygen and nutrients. Then, repairing the damaged elastin and lost collagen will take a little help from laser resurfacing, injectable fillers, radiofrequency microneedling, and a thorough home skin care routine.
We are here to support you on your journey to your best self!

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