Most people know smoking is bad for their health, causing everything from COPD and heart disease to lung and oral cancer. But did you know smoking also affects your looks? Learn how smoking damages skin and makes people look older below.

Wrinkles and Crinkles

When you think about an aging face, you’re probably imagining wrinkles. Smoking obstructs the blood supply that keeps skin tissue looking young, supple and healthy. This means that those young twentysomethings puffing up are contributing to wrinkles now, since smoking greatly accelerates aging by causing wrinkles. The lack of blood flow and oxygen to the skin also affects skin tone, giving smokers an uneven skin tone. If you’re not willing to quit for yourself, quit for your family and friends. Research shows that exposure to secondhand smoke can also cause sagging skin and wrinkles. Smokers should also beware of the “smoker’s pucker” lines around their lips as well as crow’s feet.

Dull Teeth

A smile indicates a lot about your health, including your age. Smokers have to give up on having a sparkling white smile because the nicotine in cigarettes actually stains teeth. Nothing says aging like dull, yellow teeth. Smoking also ups your chances of having oral cancer or gum disease, which can lead to tooth loss. Nothing says old age like a set of dentures! If that’s not reason enough, smoking also causes bad breath and general oral hygiene issues.

Goodbye Glow

As mentioned above, smoking can cause wrinkles and uneven skin tone. Smokers tend to look pale as smoking is depriving skin of vital oxygen and nutrients. It can also cause age spots. That’s right, applying all that sunblock and avoiding the sun can only do so much, as smoking increases the chances of developing age spots. Smokers also have an increased risk of developing psoriasis, which causes thick, scaly skin patches that can appear on the elbows, scalp, hands, back or feet.

Stained Nails and Fingers and Hair Loss

Holding onto those cigarettes can cause damage to the nails and skin of your hands. Lucky for you, the discoloration caused by tobacco typically fades after you have stopped smoking. The damage doesn’t stop there. Smoking accelerates hair thinning and baldness in some people. Smoking doesn’t just affect the skin on your face, it also affects your figure. Smoking destructs the collagen and elastin that keeps skin younger. In fact, damage to the elastin fibers can cause sagging upper arms and breasts, among others. Secondhand smoke can also cause sagging skin in those you love. This means that all of those hours in the gym on that treadmill might not pay off, thanks to your smoking habit.

You already know that smoking makes the inside of your body old, but how do you feel about it affecting the outside of your body? From sagging skin and wrinkles to yellowing teeth and nails, smoking can make people look 10 years older than they actually are. If you are ready to turn back the clock, you can avoid the dreaded droop and creases by quitting today.

Meet Our Doctors

Dr. Jeffrey Spiegel

Dr. Jeffrey Spiegel

With special expertise in all aspects of facial plastic surgery, and a particular skill for revision surgery, it’s clear why Dr. Spiegel is one of the most celebrated facial plastic surgeons in the world. If you are seeking the best possible results, or have a uniquely challenging problem, you’ve found the right doctor.

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Dr. Onir L. Spiegel

Dr. Onir L. Spiegel

Dr. Onir (pronounced “oh-near”) has years of experience in facial aesthetics and treats some of the most recognizable and famous faces. Dr. Onir started her career in oral health, earning doctorate degrees from both New York University and Boston University. She has been the recipient of numerous awards for her cutting-edge medical research as well as her technical skills in dentistry.

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Dr. Jacob Tower

Dr. Jacob Tower

A board-certified specialist in facial plastic surgery, Dr. Jacob Tower brings a thoughtful approach and an artistic eye to New England’s premier plastic surgery practice, The Spiegel Center in Newton, Massachusetts. In addition to being an in-demand surgeon, Dr. Tower is an assistant professor at the Boston University School of Medicine, a sought-after lecturer, and an expert in facial plastic surgery.

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