Effects of Smoking on Skin, Hair, Teeth, and Eyes

You probably know how bad smoking is for your lungs and heart, but the habit is also trouble for your skin, hair, teeth, and eyes. Read on for a few more good reasons to quit.

Smokers have many reasons to quit. Quitting dramatically reduces the major health risks from smoking including the risk of lung cancer, heart attack, and heart disease, according to the American Lung Association.

There are also plenty of lesser-known ways that smoking can effect your health. For a few more reasons to quit, read about some of the ways that smoking can affect your skin, hair, and eyes.

01 of 07

Increases the Risk of Psoriasis

Psoriasis is an autoimmune-related skin condition that causes red, scaly patches on the skin. Non-smokers can get psoriasis, but if you do smoke, your risk increases, according to the National Psoriasis Foundation. Smoking can also make symptoms worse for people who already have psoriasis.

02 of 07

Is Linked to Hair Loss

Smoking is linked to early onset androgenetic alopecia (AGA), a form of hair loss that affects both males and females. A 2020 study in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatolgy found that smokers were more likely to show signs of AGA and that smoking seemed to make it progress faster. The researchers theorized that nicotine might be responsible for accelerating hair loss.

03 of 07

Can Lead to Tooth Loss

Smoking puts you at greater risk for all kinds of dental problems, including oral cancer, gum disease, and tooth loss. A 2015 study in the Journal of Dental Research found that female smokers were more than twice as likely to loose teeth than female non-smokers, and that male smokers were three times as likely to lose teeth as male non-smokers. The good news was that quitting can help. Ten to 20 years after quitting, former smokers' risk of tooth loss was no worse than that of people who had never smoked.

04 of 07

Interferes With Wound Healing

A 2020 study from the World Health Organization (WHO) found that smokers had a higher risk of delayed wound healing and other complications following surgery. But again, there was good news for quitters. Quitting even four weeks before surgery lowered the complication risk, and led to better outcomes six months later.

05 of 07

Is Linked to Genital Warts

For reasons that aren't entirely clear, smokers are more susceptible to infection with human papillomavirus (HPV), a large family of viruses that can cause warts—including genital warts.

While genital and anal warts are caused by sexually transmitted types of HPV, smoking seems to be a contributing factor, according to a 2014 study in the International Journal of Colorectal Disease.

06 of 07

Is Linked To Skin Cancer

Smoking is a leading cause of lung cancer, as well as throat, mouth, and esophageal cancer, so it should be no surprise that cigarettes can also increase your risk of skin cancer.

According to a 2020 study in Cancer Causes & Control, smokers are more likely to develop squamous cell carcinoma, the second most common type of skin cancer, than nonsmokers.

07 of 07

Can Contribute to Cataracts and Macular Degeneration

Smoking can also lead to eye diseases and vision loss, particularly macular degeneration and cataracts. Smokers are twice as likely to have macular degeneration and two to three times as likely to develop cataracts, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). But yet again, the good news is that quitting can help reduce the risk of developing both. And even after macular degeneration occurs, quitting can slow its progression.

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