smoking cause acne

Does Smoking Cause Acne?

Would Smoking Cause Acne? Does Smoking Make Acne Worse? Here Are the Answers

Could smoking cause acne? This is a question that has attracted lots of debate of late, especially with the increasing frequency of breakouts among tobacco smokers. This post explores the connection between smoking and acne, to try and find a solution for acne among smokers.

Finding excellent prescription drugs and topical solutions like face washes, shampoos and antioxidant serums is crucial in the fight against acne. Another right direction would be to understand the effects of smoking on the skin. This article seeks to answer a question that has intrigued many people: does smoking cause acne?

Does Chewing Tobacco Cause Acne?

According to Dr. Ed Friedlander, a pathologist, chewing tobacco is much safer than smoking it. He says that even though not many people get premalignant mouth lesions from chewing tobacco, it is advisable to keep watch of the inner lining of the mouth.

Most health experts agree that chewing tobacco does not necessarily cause acne. Nonetheless, most of them suggest that quitting the habit can make things much easier. That’s because tobacco contains numerous chemicals, including nicotine, which can be lethal in high doses.

The bottom line is, tobacco, no matter how you take it, is not good for any part of your body, especially the mouth.

How Smoking Causes Acne

In most cases, acne develops due to the clogging of skin pores. When smoking, the smoke blocks your skin pores, leading to accumulation of dead cells and bacteria, and increasing the production of sebum/oil. The oil, the dead cells, and the smoke clog the skin pores, consequently irritating the skin and causing acne.

When quitting smoking, it would be good to follow a physical workout routine, as it helps deal with stress, a factor known to make acne worse.

Is It True That Smoking Causes Acne Cheeks?

Almost 20 percent of adults in the US are affected by acne. However, this figure doesn’t consist of smokers only; non-smokers are affected too. When patients visit their dermatologists, they often ask if smoking causes acne.

Let’s examine a few scientific studies to find out if indeed smoking causes acne on the cheeks:

A study done by a dermatological institute in Rome found higher acne breakout cases among smokers. According to results from the study, smoking caused acne and blackheads on the jaw line and cheeks. Almost 75 percent of the women in the study had non-inflamed acne and were smokers. Also, 81 percent of those who suffered from severe non-inflamed acne happened to be smokers.

Surprisingly, it didn’t matter the number of cigarettes one smoked per day. Apparently, women who had acne breakouts in their teens had high chances of suffering from breakouts in their adulthood.

It was ascertained that other causes (apart from smoking) contributed to inflamed acne on the cheeks among the non-smokers. Most of these people worked in polluted environments like smoke-filled factories and kitchens.

A newer research to establish the relationship between smoking and acne scars was conducted in 2009. More than 1000 were involved in the study. Like the previous study, this research showed that smoking caused acne.

Several other studies have showed that smoking is causing acne particularly among people who smoked during their teen years. Some of these studies also found out that those going back to the habit of smoking face increased risks of acne breakouts on the cheeks.

So, do these studies suggest that you should quit smoking to alleviate those breakouts? Actually, dermatologists seem to have diverse opinions on the issue. Many times, as a prognosis, they will ask you to quit smoking to if your skin clears up.

Smoking is not good for you, as it causes drying up of your skin, increasing your risk of scaring and inflammation. Furthermore, smoking has been showed to derail the natural healing process of the skin. That way, smoking might indeed make acne worse.

Does Smoking Cause Acne Around the Mouth?

Acne caused smoking can occur around the mouth, chin, and jaw line in both men and women. That is because the smoke irritates the skin, causing development of pimples and acne breakouts. Unfortunately, there’s no surefire cure for breakouts around the mouth, as what works for one person may not work for another.

Although studies indicate that smoking causes acne around the mouth, most of the sufferers normally attribute such acne to improper use of makeup products. In fact, women who sleep with their makeups on are more likely to develop acne around the mouth.

How Smoking Causes Acne Around the Mouth

By smoking, you reduce the amount of oxygen that reaches the cells in your face. This situation not only increases your chances of developing cancer but also causes the breakdown of the collagen and elastic fibers in your skin.

Moreover, the numerous chemicals in the smoke irritate your skin and dry it out. This leads to the production of more sebum, and subsequently the development of acne breakouts around the mouth.

Other Causes of Breakouts Around the Mouth

Other acne victims attribute their condition to stress, hormonal changes, poor dieting, allergic reactions, and other health issues, including STDs. These kinds of acne are normally harder to treat, and integrated care is often needed.

If you’re suffering from acne around the mouth, one of the steps you can take to deal with it is to see a dermatologist, as they can help pinpoint the exact cause. They might recommend that you change your toothpaste or lip balms, body wash, and face oils. Also, if you’re a smoker, they will most likely ask you to quit.

Smoking and Acne Scars

Scientists have found that smoking not only contributes to the formation of wrinkles but also worsens the effects of acne. Moreover, research shows that scarring from the spotty condition is more prevalent in smokers than non-smokers.

Medical experts, therefore, advise that groups susceptible to acne, particularly the teens, should steer clear of tobacco. Acne results in unappealing spots that can erupt and ruin the skin, leaving crater-like scars and creating a bumpy surface.

Let’s look over a few studies performed to ascertain the relationship between smoking and acne scars.

One study engaged 992 severe-acne patients that were referred to the dermatology wing of a hospital for an 8-year period. 91 percent of the patients had acne scars, and though smokers weren’t more likely to suffer from scarring, the harm to their skin was notably more severe.

As a matter of fact, over half of the smokers suffered from moderate to severe scarring in contrast to just over a third of the smokers.

According to Dr. Bhutani of the Harrogate District Foundation Trust, there is a noteworthy link between smoking and acne scars. He observes that smoking is causing acne scars among people with breakouts or at least increasing the risk or scarring. He, however, says that further research is required to understand the mechanism with which it all happens.

Nina Goad, a member of the British Association of Dermatologists reported that acne affected a big portion of the population. She said that around 80 percent of teens get affected at some point, and that while it will mostly disappear eventually, some are left with persistent scars.

Nina observed that such scars can be difficult to deal with and that they can lead to decreased self-esteem in the sufferer. She also said that with the common knowledge that smoking is bad for health, the discovery that it contributed to acne scarring brought with it more persuasion to quit.

Steps You Can Take to Treat Acne Caused by Smoking Quickly

  1. Exercise good hygiene and use the right products for acne
  2. Every time you eat greasy foods, be sure to get rid of the excess grease around your mouth. You can use salicylic acid toners to ensure that your lips are clean. Also, be sure to utilize proper products for acne, including antioxidant serums to reduce the risk of contracting the P. Acnes bacteria.

  3. Hot compresses
  4. Hot compresses are a great home remedy for acne. Take a piece of cloth, dip it in warm water and press it against any part of your face with breakouts. This will help soothe them and prevent scarring.

  5. Face care products
  6. Some of your face beauty products might be making your breakouts worse. Therefore, try changing those face washes, primers, and bb creams to see if the issue goes away. Cleansers with vitamins supplements and lavender oil often come in handy when dealing with the problem.

  7. Do not pop or squeeze pimples
  8. If you’re looking for a quick way of getting rid of the pimples, you might be tempted to pop them; that is the wrong approach. Popping those pimples might make your acne worse, as that can create an easy way for the P. Acnes bacteria to spread across your face.

  9. Take foods with alpha hydroxyl acids
  10. Another easy home remedy for acne caused by smoking is to eat foods that contain high amounts of Alpha hydroxyl acids. As we observed earlier, smoking is causing acne around the mouth. Alpha hydroxyl acids can be of help here, as they have been showed to unclog skin pores on the lips. Foods rich in Alpha hydroxyl acids include:

    • Grapes
    • Oranges
    • Apples
  11. Eat proper foods and take plenty of water
  12. Smoking causes acne in that it reduces the amount of oxygen reaching the face. This happens when the smoke clogs your skin pores and when the chemicals in the smoke reach the tissues in your face. To ease the situation, you can take diets rich in proteins, magnesium, zinc, and vitamins A and E, as these nutrients help in the repair of the affected tissues.

    I suggest that you stay away from products that contain caffeine, like tea, and take plenty of water every day.

  13. Manage your stress
  14. You might have heard that smoking helps deal with stress; this is only true in the short term. In the long term, smoking actually leads to psychological disorders such as low self-esteem and depression. Stress can make your acne worse, and therefore it would be good to find ways to manage it. You can start by going for therapy and follow a workout plan.

Might Smoking Cause Acne? – The Final Word

Would smoking cause acne? Does smoking cause blackheads? The answer to these questions is a resounding yes. Smoking causes acne in that the smoke clogs your skin pores, causing the overproduction of sebum, and thus irritating the skin.

Health practitioners recommend that you quit smoking and acne might just disappear. Moreover, by quitting, you reduce your risk of developing acne caused by smoking and reduce the threat of facing other health conditions including skin cancer, hypertension, heart disease, and diabetes.

Elisabeth Hasselblad

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