No one is lighting up a cigarette without being fully aware of the health risks in this day and age. With reminders of the increased risk of heart disease, cancers, and stroke everywhere from the packaging to the news headlines, you really can’t avoid the truth of the medical matter when it comes to smoking.

Many of these diseases will manifest outward signs, but sometimes there are signs and symptom that never appear visually. But in terms of harming your general appearance, smoking will certainly do that to the extent that people around you will notice.

Perhaps you need extra motivation to help you stop smoking for good. Take a look through this article at a small selection of the ways in which smoking can change the way you look..

smoking effects

Wrinkles and dullness

With nutrients and oxygen struggling to reach the skin due to smoking, a smoker’s skin takes on a duller, even greyish appearance. Premature aging of your skin by between 10 and 20 years will also occur from smoking. Plus, nicotine causes vasoconstriction, which is a condition that sees blood vessels being narrowed and oxygen-rich blood flow to the tiny vessels found around your face and other parts of your body being limited. The problem of this condition will be seen if you suffer a wound, as vasoconstriction will take it longer to heal and result in scars appearing bigger and redder than those who aren’t affected by the condition.

Many of the 4,000 chemicals found in tobacco smoke will trigger the destruction of elastin and collagen in the body too. These are fibres required to give skin its strength and elasticity — lose them and sagging skin and deeper wrinkles will be the consequence, which will be seen especially around the inner arms, breasts and face.

Using certain muscles around the lips, combined with a loss of elasticity to the skin, results in the appearance of deep lines around the lips. This is known as the ‘smoker’s pucker’.

Tired, sleepy eyes

You can’t avoid crow’s feet, smoker or not. However, they develop earlier and go deeper when you smoke due to the heat from lit cigarettes and also as a result of a smoker squinting in an attempt to keep smoke out of their eyes.

You will suffer under-eye bags far more frequently too.A study by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine suggests that those who smoke cigarettes are four times more likely to report feeling unrested after a night’s sleep than non-smokers. The study, which involved the analysis of the sleep architecture of 40 smokers and a matched group of 40 non-smokers who all undertook home polysomnography, also suggested that smokers spend less time in a deep sleep than non-smokers.

“It is possible that smoking has time-dependent effects across the sleep period.” the study’s authorNaresh M. Punjabi, MD, PhD, FCCP, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, commented, “Smokers commonly experience difficulty falling asleep due to the stimulating effects of nicotine. As night evolvaes, withdrawal from nicotine may further contribute to sleep disturbance.”

Thinning hair

Smoking can see your hair thin and fall out. This is because hair grows from sac-like structures found underneath the scalp called follicles. However, these need oxygen, essential nutrients and vitamins/minerals in order to function correctly and trigger natural hair growth but, as previously discussed, smoking reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that get to your skin. Follicles that aren’t functioning properly result in a disruption of the normal hair growth and loss cycle, which in turn causes hair thinning and eventually hair loss.