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How does smoking affect my skin?

Answer by:
Debra Jaliman, MD


Cigarette smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals that are absorbed directly into the bloodstream and are taken right into the skin. Smoking causes the blood vessels in the top layers of skin to get smaller, so your skin gets less oxygen. Smoking also makes skin thinner, slows its ability to heal, and increases wrinkles. You may get lines on your upper lip, often called smoker's lines. Your skin can also take on a grayish color.