Everyone knows that smoking is dangerous to internal organs like the heart and lungs, but do you know just how dangerous it is to the body as a whole? Smoking has a profound impact on your physical appearance, as well, destroying healthy skin, hair, and nails, and accelerating the aging process. A smoker often appears several years older than they actually are thanks to the thousands of toxins and chemicals inside of cigarettes.
Luckily, alternatives like non tobacco chew are available to smokers now so they can leave the habit behind; but even with such alternatives, nearly 14% of all adults smoke. Why? Let’s look closer at some of the more impactful physical effects of smoking so we can fully understand the extent of the damage it creates.
The first thing you’ll probably notice as a smoker is a discoloration on your skin. Usually, the skin turns a sickly color, and fingertips often turn brownish-yellow. This is because smoking restricts blood vessels and makes it more difficult for oxygenated blood to reach the extremities. Your internal organs are the priority for blood-pumping, and if they’re not getting enough oxygen, no body part is.
Oxygen-deprived cells can die off, and skin becomes sickly and discolored. Have you ever noticed the strange color of a smoker’s fingers? Cigarettes contain something called tar, which is the same stuff used in asphalt. This can stain skin, among other things. It coats the lungs and blood vessels, as well, causing massive damage inside and plenty of aesthetic damage outside.
Wrinkles are usually a tell-tale sign of age. As we get older, skin loses its tension and elasticity, causing wrinkles to form. If you’re a smoker, you’re pretty much accelerating this process every time you light up. You’ll probably notice more wrinkles than you should have at your age.
Even if you use products like anti-aging cream or CBD cream on your skin, it won’t be enough to combat the harsh effects of cigarettes. Every time you light up, you’re reintroducing all of those harmful chemicals and toxins to your skin and bloodstream. Nothing could be worse for your skin, and once the damage has been done, it’s pretty much irreversible.
Another tell-tale sign of aging (or, in this case, smoking) is sagging skin. Bags form around the eyes, arms, breasts, and legs begin to sag, and your skin struggles to maintain its elasticity. The cigarette smoke continuously restricts blood flow to these areas, and without a healthy supply of oxygen-rich blood, much of your body begins to function at a lower capacity. Remember that the skin is also an organ, and it depends on nutrients, oxygen, and water, just like the rest of your body.
In fact, one could argue that the skin is among the most important of your organs. It’s the first line of defense against foreign bacteria, viruses, and pathogens, and it plays a vital role in homeostasis. The bottom line? Smoking destroys everything about your body. It’s a liability!
Age spots are usually dark in color and can appear anywhere; on the face, the head, back, shoulders, etc. These spots are caused by overexposure to UV light. Over time, the light causes the production of melanin to speed up, which causes the discoloration. It’s been discovered that smokers are far more susceptible to developing these spots; likely because cigarettes have a way of disrupting the normal function of skin cells.
Age spots can give you the appearance of an older version of yourself, and many people find them unpleasant to look at. Others see it as a rite of passage in a way.
Gums and Teeth
A great smile is one of the best features of a human. It sets apart from other animals—the way our teeth perfectly align for that seamless smile. Unfortunately, if you’re a smoker you’ve probably watched that pearly-white smile fade to a brownish-yellow.
Smoking destroys the enamel on your teeth as well as discolors them, making it more likely that you’ll develop cavities and conditions like gingivitis. Smokers and tobacco users can also develop mouth and throat cancers.
Your gums will gradually pull away from your teeth as you continue to smoke, further damaging your oral health and hygiene. Let’s be honest; smoker’s breath does not smell good.
Hair and Nails
Did you know that smoking can cause premature grey hair and affect the overall health of your hair and nails? It’s also believed that smoking can cause premature hair loss in both men and women. Not only are you putting your skin and dental health at risk, but you’re also increasing your risk of baldness by smoking!
If these aren’t reasons enough to leave smoking behind forever, I don’t know what it is! Smoking affects every aspect of your looks and wreaks havoc on the internal organs. It’s time to stop for good and make your health a priority again.