The Relationship Between Smoking and Acne



        

If you have acne and have ever smoked or had a habit of smoking, there are some interesting facts that you should know. By this point, you’ve probably heard everything there is to know about the ill-effects that smoking tobacco has on your body, but what about the effects it has on your acne?

 

On top of that, what about the effects of smoking other substances, like marijuana? Today, we’ll be sharing some insight on what those effects are and how they relate to your breakouts.

 

Tobacco

 

In 2001, the first official study of the correlation between smoking and acne was done by Dr. Torsten Schafer at the University of Munich. Before that, the theory that smoking could affect acne wasn’t really paid all that much attention.

 

What Dr. Schafer found was that 1) acne is most prevalent in smokers and 2) there is an unmistakable relationship between the number of cigarettes smoked and the severity of the acne.

 

One of the chemical reactions in a person’s body is that of stress. Some may even smoke to alleviate said stress. But smoking increases oxidative stress and does one other interesting thing to the human body: increases testosterone.

 

Smokers have as much as 15% higher testosterone in their bodies. Testosterone increases the production of sebum in the skin, which creates an overproduction of dead skin cells, clogging up pores and causing breakouts.

 

Marijuana

 

According to an article by the Huffington Post in 2013, marijuana has some of the same chemical reactions in the body as tobacco. The most notable being that it causes a significant increase in testosterone, and therefore sebum production in the skin. For marijuana smokers, the percentage of testosterone was in the range of 3-5%, which is a significantly smaller percentage than that of the average tobacco user but still may cause breakouts.

 

Another factor relating to acne when it comes to smoking marijuana is that it may cause you to reach for sugary snacks. There is definitely a link between acne and high glycemic index foods, so that is something to keep in mind.

 

Also, be aware of the laws in your country/state when using this substance.

 

Vaping

 

There hasn’t been a lot of long-term research done on vaping in general, but as it stands now, for people who were heavy smokers before vaping, there seems to be a significant decrease in breakouts. Whereas for people who never smoked before, vaping sometimes aggravates acne.

 

Vaping does cause chemical reactions in the body, of course, and any change in lifestyle might cause some disturbances in your skin, but all in all, the jury is still out on how vaping affects acne.

 

While smoking tobacco is one of the worst things you can do for your acne, switching to a vape can help decrease breakouts. When it comes to marijuana, be wise of local laws and bear in mind that for most, it still causes acne to flare up.

 

Most use smoking as a means to alleviate stress, and while it may have some short-term upsides, the downsides outweigh them by a landslide. Consider quitting smoking for all of the health benefits–including healing your acne.