SMOKING is a habit that is harmful for the health of a person in multiple ways. It is also harmful for the physical beauty of a person and spoils it much before chronological aging.
Mostly one takes up smoking as a teenager or young adult to show off masochism in case of boys and a modern liberated look in case of girls. They may start this habit under peer pressure. For whatever reason, one starts smoking, they become addicted to it and later find it difficult to give up even if they wish.
At that age, one has a natural glow and charm on the face, body is also supple and good. Over few years itself, their beauty starts getting damaged due to smoking. As compared to their non smoking colleagues, they look more aged as well as sick.
When one smokes regularly, the carbon present in smoke causes blackish discoloration of the lips and tips of fingers. There is also mottling and discoloration of the teeth over time.
Smoking dehydrates the skin causing early wrinkling. Nicotine the active ingredient in tobacco smoke causes constriction of the blood vessels thus reducing blood supply to skin. Thus the skin receives less oxygen and elimination of toxic waste product is also reduced. The skin loses its ability to rejuvenate and also becomes thin like parchment over time. Collagen tissue of the skin is also damaged by smoking; hence the skin loses its elasticity and early wrinkling sets in. The overall result of chronic smoking on the face is an emaciated face with wrinkles around the eyes, cheeks and lips at a much younger age.
There are about 4000 chemicals present in cigarette smoke, many of which are absorbed directly in the blood and go to skin via the blood stream. These also cause damage to the skin.
It has also been observed that women who smoke tend to grow more facial hair than non smoking women. This occurs due to effect of nicotine and other chemicals on the ovaries, disturbing the hormonal status of the female body.
It is not only the facial beauty but one’s figure also that is damaged by smoking. Similar to wrinkling over face, there is sagging of the skin over breasts and breasts itself. One who smokes regularly loses his/her appetite and intake of food is reduced. This leads to weight loss and chronic malnutrition over time. Deprivation of essential calories leads to the body becoming cachexic and unattractive over time.
In fact some misguided teenagers particularly girls take up smoking in a bid to achieve a pencil thin figure like their favorite models. But after some time they realize that along with their body weight, they are losing their facial beauty and physical charm also. Now even if they want to give up smoking, they find it difficult to quit because of the addicting nature of nicotine and other chemicals present in cigarette smoke.
On the contrary, some young adults may gain weight in the middle, particularly if they have sedentary habits and also take alcohol regularly. But their face also looks sallow and lackluster.
As the body cells become deprived of oxygen over a long time due to smoking, an individual develops swelling over the tips of fingers around nails, which looks ungainly. Majority of the chronic smokers invariably develop chronic bronchitis by the time they are middle aged or even before, depending on the number of cigarettes smoked daily. Thus they get chronic cough, compelling them to cough wherever they are. Coughing always mars an otherwise good personality, making a person look ungainly.
The overall negative effects of smoking on one’s physical beauty have lead to the term, “smoker’s face”, being coined in medical dictionary in 1985. If a person wants to retain the youthful fresh look, but has started smoking, he or she should quit the habit immediately.
Specialist Internal medicine