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  Oct 12, 2018

Does cigarette smoking damage the skin?

Smoking damages nearly every organ in the body. Whilst most people are familiar of its association with lung cancer, stroke and heart disease, it also has profound effects on the body’s largest organ – skin.

Unlike damage to your heart or lungs, the effects on skin are often outwardly visible for people to see.  Not only is smoking related to the development of certain skin disorders, it is a major culprit in premature ageing of the skin.  The aim of this article is to review the cutaneous effects of smoking.

Premature Skin Ageing

The link between smoking and wrinkles has been known for many years. Smoking is an independent risk factor for developing wrinkles.  Women seem to be more susceptible to this than their male counterparts. Commonly, this manifests as fine lines around the eyes (“crow’s feet) and mouth (smoker’s lines) at an earlier age than non-smokers.

Aside from early wrinkling, other facial features have been described in smokers. These include atro