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Acne & Smoking

Acne & Smoking Acne & Smoking Acne & Smoking


When functioning normally, the sebaceous glands in the skin produce just enough oil to keep the skin soft and moisturized. But when the glands produce excess oil, the pores can become clogged. When bacteria set in, an infection can develop. Lifestyle factors--such as using pore-clogging cosmetics--can exacerbate acne. Another lifestyle factor, smoking, can also contribute to acne blemishes.


Acne can be classified as inflammatory or noninflammatory. When a pore is blocked but not infected, the acne is noninflammatory. Whiteheads and blackheads are forms of noninflammatory acne. When a clogged pore becomes infected, causing a pustule or pimple, the acne is inflammatory. Those who smoke are more likely to experience noninflammatory acne, according to "Underestimated Clinical Features of Postadolescent Acne," a study published in the August 2010 "Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology."


Smoking-related acne manifests mainly in the form of blackheads, according to the "Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology."


The study published in the August 2010 "Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology" examined 226 post-adolescent women who experienced acne. A high percentage--72.9 percent--were smokers. The researchers also found that heavy smokers had more severe acne.


Smoking is a highly addictive habit, and quitting is difficult, according to the American Cancer Society. But giving up cigarettes has multiple health benefits that include improved skin. Many cessation aids are available if you don't think you can quit cold turkey. See your health-care provider, who can tell you about your options.

Researcher's Insight

Dr. Bruno Capitanio, who led the study published in the "Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology," says the study provides a strong link between acne and smoking. "Scientists are now increasingly linking the habit with acne," Dr. Capitanio told The Daily Mail. "For people who suffered acne as teenagers, the probability of also suffering acne in adulthood is four times higher in smokers than nonsmokers. This suggests that smoking could be a major contributing factor for adult acne if you are already predisposed to the disorder."

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