What happens when you use nicotine products your entire life? You face serious health consequences. Aside from an increased risk of lung and other cancers, you also must deal with more minor issues like diminished taste buds, bad breath and poor, wrinkly skin.
Fortunately, wrinkles caused by nicotine can be treated to give you a healthier and more youthful appearance.
How does nicotine cause wrinkles?
Nicotine constricts your blood vessels, which decreases the amount of oxygen that reaches the skin. It also might not be getting enough vital nutrients, such as vitamin A. Further, nicotine damages your skin’s elastin and collagen, fibers that keep your skin strong and elastic.
The worst part is this doesn’t just affect your face; it affects your entire body. Lifelong nicotine users will see wrinkled skin on much of their body, especially the upper arms. While some of the damage may be irreversible, there are ways ex-users can improve how their skin looks.
Diet and exercise
Eating a well-balanced diet and getting plenty of exercise should be important to everyone, they are particularly important to former smokers. Not only will improving your lifestyle decrease your chances of diseases like lung cancer, but it will also improve how your skin looks.
Exercise will get your blood moving, bringing it closer to the top layer of skin and feeding it much-needed oxygen. Staying properly hydrated will also improve how you look. In fact, dehydration by itself can damage your skin. Skin needs water to stay healthy, strong and elastic. Eating a well-balanced diet will ensure your skin is getting the nutrients it needs.
It’s never too late to start improving your lifestyle. And the sooner you start making improvements, the sooner you’ll see results.
A chemical peel is where a dermatologist applies a variety of chemicals onto your skin that take away the top layers, leaving newer looking skin behind. To treat deep wrinkles caused by smoking, however, you’ll need a stronger chemical peel that will cause burns. Many patients receiving a strong chemical peel will receive a sedative before the procedure and will likely be prescribed pain medications for the recovery period. The recovery time can be up to two weeks.
There are a wide variety of fillers on the market that a doctor can use to smooth out your skin. The most common one is Botox, but there are other fillers that usually use hyaluronic acid (found naturally in the skin) as an ingredient. Botox is a little different than these other fillers because it paralyzes the muscles responsible for creating lines and relaxes the face in certain areas. This causes the wrinkles to gradually fade away. The other fillers work by simply adding bulk under the skin to fill out the wrinkles and creases.
A facelift is a surgical procedure where incisions are made and the skin is pulled tight, much like when you pull the sheets smooth on your bed. The incisions are small and placed in discreet areas to avoid any noticeable scarring. The surgeon can do the same for the areas around your neck and chin.
This is probably the most extreme way of erasing the signs of nicotine use in your face, as it is a surgical procedure and you will take several weeks to recover. But the results are much more permanent.
You can still have good-looking skin
The sooner you stop using nicotine products, the easier it will be to get your skin looking like new again. Call us to schedule an appointment for a free consultation and we can review your treatment options and tell you how to start looking your best.