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Friday, June 18, 2010

Will Quitting Smoking Cause My Face to Break Out?

“Will quitting smoking cause my face to break out?” The Newton Falls Public Library staff admires patrons who are trying to improve their health and we are happy to try to find the answers to their questions.

The Enlightened Smoker's Guide to Quitting by Bear Jack Gebhardt addresses the common belief that quitting smoking means that you will gain weight in the chapter The Sound of One Hand Eating – I Have to Smoke or I’ll Get Fat! Gebhardt seems to feel that the weight gain is an eating problem, not a nonsmoking one. In Smoking 101: an overview for teens by Margaret O. Hyde and John F. Setaro the effects of smoking on the skin are listed [p.36]. They include robbing the skin of collagen making smokers have more wrinkles and reducing the blood supply to the skin giving the face a grayish pallor.

How to Wash Your Face: America's leading dermatologist reveals the essential secrets for youthful, radiant skin by Barney J. Kenet says that smoking can impair healing of wounds which may also result in larger scars, and “may have an influence on psoriasis [p.168].” The Acne Prescription: the Perricone program for clear and healthy skin at every age by Nicholas Perricone and Breaking out: a woman's guide to coping with acne at any age by Lydia Preston have a great deal of information for those suffering from acne.

There are many websites on the subject of smoking and acne. The September 17, 2007 Daily Mail article, Smoking gives women acne, scientists reveal [] states that “For people who suffered acne as teenagers, the probability of also suffering acne in adulthood is four times higher in smokers than non-smokers.”

This still didn’t answer our patron’s question. The website, Quit Smoking Support [] has a posting "Now that I've quit smoking, why am I getting acne like I'm a danged teenager?!" The site responder states “smoking introduces all kinds of nasty pollutants into our bodies . . . One day, we quit smoking . . . but . . .it throws our bodies into an upheaval. Suddenly the chemical balance is thrown out of whack again while, at the same time, our bodies start the detoxification process. . . drink lots of water to help flush out all the toxins. This is good advice and it helps a great deal. However, it's just not fast enough for your body when [it] begins to excrete the toxins in any way it can . . . recovering heroin addicts have been known to develop raging cases of acne, too.” This last bit of information satisfied our patron.

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