Many people are already aware of the negative health effects of smoking. It can lead to numerous health conditions including lung disease or lung cancer. However, there is also some debate about a connection between smoking and acne. There are some studies that show an increase in acne among men and women that are heavy smokers. On the contrary, there are studies that show a fewer number of cases of severe acne among smokers in comparison to non-smokers. Even further, there are studies that show no correlation or any significant difference between the two groups of people. While smoking may not have direct effects on acne itself, there are some more indirect effects that it can have.
Smoking can have an impact on the skin oils that cause acne. Cigarette smoke will cut down the amount of vitamin E that your skin has. The thing that makes that particular vitamin distinct is that it acts as an antioxidant on your skin. Vitamin E provides critical protection from pollution, sunlight and other similar sources of harm for the skin. This is important in relation to sebum, which is oil the skin produces to keep your skin waterproof and lubricated. When sebum is oxidized, without the protection from vitamin E, it can cause acne, such as blackheads.
Smoking also affects the healing rate of one’s skin. The components of cigarette smoke, like carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide and nicotine, can all slow down your skins ability to heal from cuts and wounds. While this does not directly cause acne, it can make scarring much worse or appear more severe. Other important factors that affect the healing rate such as proper flow of blood and oxygen are hindered or diminished by the more toxic elements of cigarette smoke. As a result, scars are unable to heal correctly, and may heal at a slower rate.
There is much contrasting evidence when it comes to smoking and acne. Some researchers believe that there is no real direct correlation between them. However, there are many potential indirect reactions. Those are compounded with the severe health risks already present with this addictive habit. Regardless of whether smoking is related to acne, it is a contributing factor to many other health issues.