Smoking regularly can affect you in several ways, especially physically. While breathing in hot cigarette smoke does damage to your airways, holding a cigarette can affect the color of your fingers and nails. Even pursing your lips to inhale can lead to fine lines that form around your mouth and eyes.
The Eyes Don’t Lie
Using e-cigarettes may allow you to avoid finger and teeth staining, but the effects of nicotine are the same and will still impact your body. Nicotine causes narrowing of the blood vessels throughout your body, which leads to poor wound healing, dull and sagging skin, and wrinkles.
Nicotine dependence can happen with both cigarettes and e-cigarettes, and one of the side effects is disrupted sleep cycles. With poor sleep comes fatigue, puffy eyes and dark circles underneath the eyes.
Read the Signs
Visible signs someone smokes regularly are prevalent crow’s feet around the eyes, stained front teeth and stained fingertips and/or nails. Those who don’t consider themselves to be heavy smokers will still largely undergo the same changes in their appearance as those who smoke regularly. Even smoking half a pack a day can cause you to resemble someone who smokes two packs a day.
Some patients experience nicotine withdrawal throughout the night causing them to wake up to smoke cigarettes or e-cigarettes. Fingers may resemble a rust color, while a similar color will appear on the teeth. And because gum disease is common, smokers often lose teeth.
Some reports have found smokers’ hair getting thinner or becoming gray at a younger age than those who do not smoke.
Quitting Can Reverse Effects
By quitting, your looks will improve, at least in part. While increased flow in your blood vessels will help your body regain suppleness and color, signs that you once were a smoker are not likely to disappear all on their own. You may have to invest in teeth whitening, deep teeth cleaning for any gum disease and/or creams to improve skin tone. If your damage is severe enough, you also may need to undergo cosmetic procedures. Still, quitting is a step in the right direction, as regained blood flow will help improve skin dullness. It is possible you will begin to sleep better at night. What’s more, nails will likely grow out and no longer appear stained.
The Damage Done
We tend to give a lot of importance to our appearance and for good reason: Smoking impacts how you present yourself to those around you. How you look on the outside, however, is just a small indication of the damage you cause to your insides when you choose smoking as a habit. Your lungs are affected, but so are your mouth, esophagus, blood vessels and heart.
The good news is this: Stopping altogether positively affects both your looks and your organs. Over time, you will notice that you’ll begin to look and feel better. And isn’t feeling our best what leads us to look our best?
Choose to Blow Out More Candles
When you get a lung cancer screening, you help ensure you can keep blowing out your birthday candles with a healthy breath of air.