While I am sure you have heard how smoking is bad for your health and increases the risk of various types of cancer and heart disease, it also is a danger to your skin. Smoking causes premature aging and increases the risk of developing skin cancer. The combination of sun exposure and cigarette smoking damages your skin even more. Smoking can also minimize the positive outcomes one would normally achieve in undergoing a cosmetic dermatology procedure such as Restylane or Juvederm injections, or laser treatments from V-Beam or Fraxel. Smoking has been proven to minimize and even negate the effect of certain cosmetic dermatology procedures.
Many plastic surgeons will not perform voluntary procedures such as a facelift on patients that are active smokers since it delays wound healing and can lead to scars and poor outcome. Cigarette smoking can also lessen the positive outcomes from fillers by decreasing both the longevity and effects of the dermal filler. Similarly, chronic smoking can contribute to more wrinkles, skin discoloration, and broken vessels, making lasers less effective than would otherwise be the case.
Skin elasticity and wrinkles from Smoking
Smoking causes premature wrinkling due to the narrowing of blood vessels in the outer layer of your skin. Smoking thins the skin and reduces its elasticity throughout the skin. This reduction in both elasticity and collagen becomes noticeable in the face, especially in the perioral area such as those lines that form around the lips. These perioral wrinkles are a key area which many of our patients want to remove. By using a combination of Volbella injections, lasers, and PRP with microneedling, we are able to address these concerns. However, continued smoking minimizes the positive outcomes that we can expect from these procedures.
Many of our cosmetic procedures such as Fraxel, Sculptra and Thermage encourage new collagen production. Smoking will cause collagen to breakdown and limit the pace in which the skin heals and new collagen is produced. Even secondhand smoke can contribute to these negative effects. We encourage all of our patients to maintain their collagen by minimizing exposure to cigarette smoke, and have procedures performed which will produce new collagen and lessen wrinkles and tighten the skin.
Lines around the lips & mouth area
Patient received 2 syringes of Juvederm Voluma into cheeks and Botox on forehead.
Juvederm Voluma helps restore natural volume to the face, and one can resume normal activities immediately after. Smoking has not been shown to cause a direct effect on Juvederm Voluma post-injections, but it will cause decreased collagen and skin elasticity making you need more frequent dermal injections to treat these wrinkles and replace the lost volume. Volbella is used frequently as well in this area and smoking cessation will lead to less wrinkles and overall better skin health.
Smoking and Sun Exposure
Issues such as dermatitis, psoriasis and the formation of nasolabial folds (smile lines) are also often exacerbated by smoking and smoke exposure, though there can also be a range of other factors and risks, such as weight fluctuations, drinking and over-exposure to the sun.
Sun exposure combined with smoking accelerates skin cancer, along with wrinkles, fine lines and pigmentation. Dr. Green can treat these lines and pigmentation with chemical peels and the use of lasers such as the V-Beam, Fraxel, Pico lasers, and Clear+Brilliant. While trichloroacetic acid, (TCA) used in chemical peels can remove damaged skin cells, including precancerous ones, for best results moving forward, one should avoid smoking and smoke filled areas. Since smoking delays wound healing, we always suggest cessation of smoking if possible with chemical peels, lasers or cosmetic injections.
Smoking’s effect on Acne and skin layers
Smoking has also been cited by many researchers to cause acne, noting that smoking can cause blackheads and clogged pores. So while we often hear about how quitting smoking can make you look younger and prevent various illnesses, here’s one more reason to stop. After quitting, there are even ways that cosmetic dermatology can help recoup some of your skin’s lost youth, such as through chemical Peels, Sculptra injections, and Thermage. In all cases, this should be discussed with Dr. Green beforehand.
For more information and to book an appointment, contact us online today or call Dr. Michele Green’s NYC based office at 212-535-3088