Tuesday, April 12, 2011

So you want to be a little prettier?

Quit smoking. It's that simple.

I know, easier said than done, but really there's already so many things that damage your appearance on a daily basis ie. stress, drinking, processed foods, lack of sleep- why would you want to add that one extra thing? Not to mention how expensive it is.

I'm going to guess that most smokers know how much damage they may be causing, but it is a habit, therefore hard to break. When I was in Poland last year I was fascinated by the warning labels on the packs of cigarettes. It practically covers half the box.

Here's a list of things of what smoking will do to your appearance:

Bags under your eyes-

You are 4 times as likely as nonsmokers to report feeling un-rested after a night's sleep.


It is an autoimmune-related skin condition that can show up even if you never touch a cigarette, but if you do smoke your risk for the scaly skin condition goes up significantly.

According to a 2007 study, if you puff a pack a day for 10 years or less, psoriasis risk goes up 20 percent; 11-20 years and your risk is 60 percent higher; and for those who pass the two-decade mark, the psoriasis risk more than doubles. (Even secondhand smoke during pregnancy or childhood is linked to a higher risk.)

Bad Teeth-

Nicotine stains teeth, so not only are you spending money on cigarettes, you have to add in the cost of whitening your teeth! That can run up to a thousand dollars depending on how many treatments you need.

Premature aging and wrinkles-

Smoking accelerates aging and on average smokers look 1.4 years older than nonsmokers. (I think that is being generous). Smoking hampers the blood supply that keeps skin tissue looking supple and healthy.

Yellow fingers-

The nicotine in cigarette smoke can not only make your teeth (and the walls of your home) brown, but it's also notorious for staining fingers and nails as well.

Thinner hair-

As if the wrinkly skin wasn't enough, smoking hurts your hair too. Experts think the toxic chemicals in smoke can damage the DNA in hair follicles and generate cell-damaging free radicals as well.

The end result? Smokers have thinner hair that tends to go gray sooner than nonsmokers. That is, if they have any hair at all. Men who smoke are about twice as likely to lose their hair as nonsmokers, after taking into account factors that increase the risk of baldness, such as aging and genetics, according to a 2007 study in Taiwan.


Nicotine causes vasoconstriction, a narrowing of the blood vessels that can limit oxygen-rich blood flow to the tiny vessels in the face or other parts of the body. This means your wounds will take longer to heal and you’ll have scars that are bigger and redder than you would if you didn't smoke.

Tooth loss-

Smoking puts you at greater risk for all kinds of dental problems, including oral cancer and gum disease. According to a 2005 U.K. study in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology, smokers are up to six times more likely than nonsmokers to develop gum disease, which can lead to tooth loss.

Natural glow is gone-

Ever notice how smokers' skin sometimes seems off? A 1985 study came up with the term Smoker's Face to describe certain facial characteristics, such as wrinkles, gauntness, and a gray appearance of the skin, caused by smoking.

Cigarette smoke contains carbon monoxide, which displaces the oxygen in your skin, and nicotine, which reduces blood flow, leaving skin dry and discolored. Cigarette smoking also depletes many nutrients, including vitamin C, which helps protect and repair skin damage.

Wound healing-

Several studies have found that smokers do not heal as well after surgeries such as face-lifts, tooth extractions, and periodontal procedures.


For reasons that aren't entirely clear, smokers are more susceptible to infection with human papillomavirus, a large family of viruses that can cause warts—including genital warts.

While genital warts are caused by sexually transmitted types of HPV, smoking is also a risk factor. Even taking the number of sex partners into account, women who smoke are nearly four times as likely to have genital warts as nonsmokers.

Skin cancer-

Smoking is a leading cause of cancer, including lung, throat, mouth, and esophageal cancer, so it should be no surprise that cigarettes can also increase your risk of skin cancer.

Stretch marks-

The nicotine found in cigarettes damages the fibers and connective tissue in your skin, causing it to lose elasticity and strength.

Flabby tummy-

Cigarettes can be an appetite suppressant, and often smokers have a lower body weight than nonsmokers. However, a 2009 study in the Netherlands found that smokers had more visceral fat than nonsmokers. This deep fat pads internal organs and can accumulate in your midsection, ultimately increasing the risk of other diseases, such as diabetes.


More than half of Americans will have developed some degree of cataracts by age 80. Cigarette smoking can increase the risk of cataracts by putting oxidative stress on the lens of the eye.

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