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Smoking: Does it cause wrinkles?By Mayo Clinic staff
Original Article: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/smoking/AN00644
- With Mayo Clinic internist
Lowell Dale, M.D.read biographyclose window
Lowell Dale, M.D.Lowell Dale, M.D.
Dr. Lowell Dale is the medical director of Mayo Clinic Tobacco Quitline and an associate professor of medicine at College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, Minn. Dr. Dale is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine, and he has been an internal medicine consultant at Mayo since 1985.
As a consultant in the Division of Primary Care Internal Medicine, Dr. Dale has served on various divisional committees, including the Administrative Committee, Education Committee, Personnel Committee and Long Range Planning Committee.
Dr. Dale is an accomplished author on treatment, health professional education and research issues related to tobacco use and dependence. He has contributed to numerous medical journals, including Mayo Clinic Proceedings, the Journal of General Internal Medicine, Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics and the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Dr. Dale received his B.A. degree from Augsburg College in Minneapolis and his M.D. degree from the University of Minnesota Medical School.
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Smoking: Does it cause wrinkles?
Is it true that smoking causes wrinkles?
from Lowell Dale, M.D.
Yes. So if you need another reason to motivate you to quit smoking, add premature wrinkles to the list.
Smoking can speed up the normal aging process of your skin, contributing to wrinkles. These skin changes may occur after only 10 years of smoking. The more cigarettes you smoke and the longer you smoke, the more skin wrinkling you're likely to have — even though the early skin damage from smoking may be hard for you to see.
And smoking doesn't cause wrinkles only on your face. Smoking also is associated with increased wrinkling and skin damage on other parts of your body, including your inner arms. While the skin wrinkles may not be reversible, you can prevent worsening of wrinkling by quitting smoking now.
How does smoking lead to wrinkles? The nicotine in cigarettes causes narrowing of the blood vessels in the outermost layers of your skin. This impairs blood flow to your skin. With less blood flow, your skin doesn't get as much oxygen and important nutrients, such as vitamin A. Many of the more than 4,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke also damage collagen and elastin, which are fibers that give your skin its strength and elasticity. As a result, skin begins to sag and wrinkle prematurely because of smoking.
In addition, repeated exposure to the heat from burning cigarettes and the facial expressions you make when smoking — such as pursing your lips when inhaling and squinting your eyes to keep out smoke — may contribute to wrinkles.Next question
Quit smoking, gain weight: Is it inevitable?
- Helfrich YR, et al. Effect of smoking on age of photoprotected skin. Archives of Dermatology. 2007;143:397.
- Doshi DN, et al. Smoking and skin aging in identical twins. Archives of Dermatology. 2007;143:1543.
- Koh JS, et al. Cigarette smoking associated with premature facial wrinkling: Image analysis of facial skin replicas. International Journal of Dermatology. 2002;41:21.
- Martires KJ, et al. Factors that affect skin aging: A cohort-based survey of twins. Archives of Dermatology. 2009;145:1375.