5 Things That Happen to Your Skin When You Quit Smoking
We’ve all heard it before: smoking is bad for your health. While true, this is far from the only reason to quit or avoid smoking. Smoking harms more than just your health – it also damages your skin.
From dark circles under your eyes to yellow fingers, smoking can take quite a toll on your appearance. Fortunately, quitting can reverse some of this damage. Here are some changes you can expect to see in your skin when you quit:
1. Brighter Eyes
Smoking and dark circles under your eyes go hand in hand. A study by John Hopkins found that smokers are four times more likely than nonsmokers to report feeling unrested after a full night of sleep. Researchers believe this is so because nicotine withdrawal symptoms disrupt sleep patterns. Lack of sleep, in turn, worsens dark circles under the eyes. Individuals who quit smoking get better sleep, and in turn have brighter eyes.
2. Tighter Skin
Did you know that cigarette smoke contains over 7000 chemicals? Many of these chemicals damage collagen and elastin, the fibers that give your skin its elasticity. As a result, your skin is prone to premature aging and wrinkles.
When you quit smoking, your body’s collagen production returns to normal levels, so your skin looks healthier, too. Although the wrinkles may not go away, their development will slow down.
3. Smoother Complexion
The nicotine in cigarettes constrict your blood vessels, which carry oxygen and essential nutrients to your skin. When these blood vessels are constricted, your skin is deprived of oxygen and nutrients. The result is dull and uneven skin complexion.
Quitting increases the amount of oxygen and nutrients sent to your skin cells, leaving you with a smoother, more even complexion.
4. Stainless Fingers
Smoking stains not only your teeth, but your fingers and nails as well. The nicotine and tar in cigarettes stain your fingers as you hold the cigarette.
After quitting, individuals often notice a line on their fingernail between the stained nail and the newly grown nail. In time, the new nail replaces the stained nail and the finger stains fade.
If you’re a nonsmoker experiencing yellow or stained fingers, ask an online dermatologist today.
5. Better Hair
Though not as well known, smoking also damages your hair. Many of the chemicals found in cigarettes damage your hair follicles and cause premature hair thinning. In fact, a 2007 study found that men who smoke are twice as likely to go bald as nonsmoking men.
Quitting increases the blood flow to your hair follicles, which may result in hair regrowth or thicker hair.
Smoking damages the skin, but not irreversibly. The skin benefits of quitting smoking are too great to ignore. If you don’t notice any changes to your skin after quitting, ask an online dermatologist.
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Specialist doctor from the University Hospital in Gothenburg, Sweden. I moved to the Bay Area in January 2013 and I attended the School of Public Health, UC Berkeley from 2013 to 2014 as a visiting PhD candidate. My PhD thesis is on Digital Health and so far I have published 4 peer review scientific papers. I founded First Derm in 2014.