Can Cigarette Smoking Cause Acne and Harm the Skin?

There is a global effort in cutting down smoking or at the very most thwart smoking altogether. This bad habit every year causes 3 million deaths around the world according to numerous studies. While many think of smoking as just a nasty habit that is hard to kick it is actually an expensive vice that not only is causing many types of cancer, pains and sufferings that are left untold but also billions of dollars in health care.

It does not take a genius to see that this habit is actually causing lots of negative effects on the body but it is still not clear if smoking is actually connected with acne. It is true that there is still much evidence needed to connect smoking and acne. A study that was made public in 2006 in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology revealed that participants who were active smokers actually had a lower case of severe acne compared to participants who did not smoke. The study was made with 27,083 young men as participants and the observation was on a 20-year period.

In 2007, another study was published in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology with results recorded as female participants who smoked had significant lower occurrence of acne while in male participants no notable associations were seen between acne and smoking variables. This study was done with 594 participants.

Another study that was made public in 2001 in the British Journal of Dermatology is actually in contrast with these findings. In this particular study there were 896 participants and results revealed that smokers actually tend to develop more acne and the heavier the “smoker” participants smoked the worse their acne gets.

In a more recent study conducted in 2009, results rendered a very strong correlation between smoking and acne that is non-inflammatory. However other recent studies also revealed no difference in statistics between those who smoke and those who do not with regard to acne.

With these conflicting results in numerous studies, it is indeed true that the medical research community would need to do more research and gather more data to be able to arrive at a consensus regarding smoking and its link to acne. However the fact still remains that smoking negatively affects the skin.

Here are the facts!

  • Cigarette smoking constricts the blood vessels and has a damaging effect on numerous parts of the body. Smoking actually damages cells that line the organs of the body as well as the largest organ of the body which is the skin.
  • This nasty habit also triggers an inflammatory response in the body which leads to a long list of diseases including skin diseases such as poor wound healing and psoriasis. It is also believed that smoking may be linked to skin cancers.
  • Smoking actually has a negative impact on the appearance of skin. It has been linked with wrinkles and also with early skin aging. This is because smoking creates free radicals and free radicals are damaging to the skin cells and our DNA. It also greatly reduces collagen production and cause skin proteins to degrade which are all known to cause the skin to age.

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