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Date of last update: 10/18/2017.

Forum Name: Dermatology Topics

Question: Aging gracefully as an active tobacco user / wrinkle creams

 anthropologist - Sat Sep 13, 2008 1:35 am

To Whom This May Concern:

My question is about preventing wrinkles while addressing the fact that I am an active smoker. I smoke about half a pack a day and it's been about six years now. I am 21 years old.

Specifically, I read in a magazine that wrinkle prevention is most effective when wrinkle products (specifically substances containing Retinol) are begun as a daily routine at a young age.

Is it true that using wrinkle creams starting now, while I'm young, will help prevent the development of wrinkles in the future? Also, will this slow the aging process that my face is subject to as a smoker?

For the value of medical history, I have never used sunscreen. I am caucasian and very fair skinned, but I do not burn - I tan heavily. I know this does not mean that I'm immune to sun damage, however. I am hardly ever exposed to the sun and when my skin was looked at under a damage revealing light, there was little to no visible skin damage.

Also, I do know the risks of smoking and the reality of the dangers of tobacco consumption. At this point, I do not wish to quit smoking, but would just like information on how to slow the process of physically visible aging that's sped up and highly visible from smoking cigarettes... As well as an answer to the claim about anti-wrinkle creams supposedly preventing wrinkles if started during youth as a continual regimen.

One last question concerning smoking >> How long does it take, roughly on average, for physical deterioration to show up on the face? If smoking is discontinued, will wrinkles and uneven skin tone improve? How long does it take the body to fully recover from a decade of smoking while under the age of 30? Any answers would be appreciated.

Thank you.

--N. Davis
 Debbie Miller, RN - Tue Sep 30, 2008 4:19 pm

User avatar Hello,
Smoking will take a toll on your health and your skin tone. It dries out the tissues and more wrinkles are inevitable. People also age at varying paces so it would be impossible to say when it will begin for you. Also, cancer and lung diseases can begin early or late in a smoker. There are many factors at play, genetics for one. If you want to retain smooth, healthy skin for as long as possible you should stop smoking. There are lots of things we want to do and it's all a tradeoff. You choose to smoke; you can't prevent the natural consequences of that decision.

There is no known anti aging wrinkle cream that can definitely help though some botox and retin-A can sometimes help. The drying process that comes with smoking and aging equals wrinkled skin. In a smoker this can be especially pronounced around the mouth. One day perhaps there will be better treatments to reverse the effects of some of our bad habits but these are not known to science yet (to my knowledge).

Best wishes.

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