January, as you know, is the time when everybody decides to kick-start their health and beauty regimes, with all those New Year’s resolutions coming into force. For many, to quit smoking is at the top of their agenda, and with good reason.
The effects of smoking in terms of ageing are significant. Present in cigarette smoke are free radicals. These damage the skins collagen and reduce its elasticity as well as dulling its appearance. The most common signs of ageing caused by smoking are the lines and wrinkles found around the upper lip and the corner of the eyes.
- 20% of adults are reported to smoke according to a 2012 NHS report
- 67% of current smokers are reported as wanting to give up
- 75% are reported to have tried to give up smoking at some point in the past
- Based on a 20-a-day habit, the average smoker will consume 7,300 cigarettes a year and to give up would save them roughly £3,000
We all know now that the effects of smoking are far wider reaching and damaging than aesthetics, but you can tackle the lines and wrinkles caused by smoking at the same time as taking care of your health.
A quote from Dr Johanna Ward, medical director of The Skin Clinic in Sevenoaks and Brentwood, ‘Put it this way, when a person inhales cigarette smoke they inhale carbon monoxide. Blood absorbs this highly toxic gas 200 times faster than oxygen so the carbon monoxide effectively displaces oxygen and starves the skin of oxygen. Without oxygen cells cannot function properly and are severely impaired. Add to this the vasoconstrictive effect of nicotine and it’s no wonder that the skin of smokers becomes wrinkly and saggy much faster than non-smokers.’
TREATMENTS AVAILABLE FOR SMOKERS
Like us here at Whitethorn Fields MediClinic, there are a wide variety of treatments available for smokers and quitters, concentrating on the smoking lines, wrinkles and skin condition.
Injectables – Smokers will often have crow’s feet around the eyes, which can be treated with Botulinum Toxin Type A. Dermal Fillers can be used to fill the lines and wrinkles that can appear around the mouth.
Skincare – Regular skin treatments should be undertaken to start replenishing the skin and to start re-introducing essential anti-oxidants and vitamins that get used up when smoking. This could be from a microdermabrasion to a chemical peel.
Home care – An at-home skin care regime will benefit and enhance any aesthetic treatment results.
Whether you’re still smoking or you’re a quitter, you can take care of your skin and fix the damage caused by this costly habit.