Yes, smokers are risky patients!
Smoking considerably increases the risk of slow healing and infection of wounds within the context of an aesthetic surgical procedure. Smoking is proven to be a major factor in complications in the case of an abdominoplasty, a lift, or breast reduction, procedures that require more and/or complex incisions. We know the dangers linked to our health in general, so it is not surprising that tobacco is also our skin’s number-one enemy (with the sun). On the menu: wrinkles, brown spots, and premature skin sagging along with a dull, tired complexion.
During this no tobacco month, here are 6 good reasons to stop smoking linked to aesthetics.
1) Smoking slows healing
Smoking causes a deficit, even a deficiency in vitamin C. Yet, vitamin C is a nutrient that is essential to good wound healing. Ascorbic acid, as it is also known, participates more particularly in the synthesis of collagen, which is essential to tissue renewal and, therefore, optimal healing.
2) Tobacco weakens the immune system
Poor or slower healing de facto increases the risk of wound infection. A wound that takes longer to heal is at a higher risk of becoming infected by a bacterium that may cause an infection. It will also be harder to care for if you still smoke… Smoking does not help your immune system, quite the opposite! It tends to weaken it.
3) Stop the risk of necrosis…
Necrosis? It is quite simply the death of skin tissue. And even if it is scary, special attention is given to these skin repair problems in aesthetic, plastic, and reconstructive surgery. Carbon monoxide (amongst others!) in cigarettes decreases blood fluidity and oxygenation. As for nicotine, it slows circulation and thus blocks the intake of nutrients required to reconstruct the tissues after a procedure, hence the possible onset of necrosis.
4) Smoking increases the risk of deep vein thrombosis, blood clots
Aesthetic surgery has many advantages but also risks that we are very careful to present to you during your preliminary consultations. Smoking is a known risk factor in blood clots and deep vein thrombosis, but also other circulatory diseases or strokes. These are additional risks that add to those inherent to any surgery requiring a general anesthetic.
5) Breast augmentation, capsular contracture & tobacco
When the body detects the presence of a foreign body, it naturally protects itself by forming a fine, flexible barrier around it. In the case of capsular contracture, the body goes « too far »: the barrier is thicker, harder, and can be painful. Ultimately, it is abnormal healing around the implant. It is not, therefore, surprising that smoking is a factor that increases the risk of capsular contracture in the case of breast augmentation with implants.
So, make the most of the result of your aesthetic procedure with total peace of mind without any complications linked to tobacco potentially spoiling your pleasure and regained confidence! Put all the odds in your favor! All the more so that many people who stop smoking to undergo surgery find it easier to then stop definitively.
6) Premature aging, gray complexion… Our skin bears the consequences of tobacco
Studies are clear; tobacco has a negative impact on our skin and complexion. The exact mechanisms are not fully known, however, we know that:
- Tobacco decreases the size of your blood vessels. This vasoconstriction leads to the appearance of redness that can be permanent (couperosis) but also decreases the supply of nutrients to the skin. Furthermore, this phenomenon slows the renewal of epidermal cells (known as stratum corneum cells), which are hard to eliminate correctly resulting in a paler, dull, and gray complexion.
- It stimulates the production of free radicals by the body, which aggress our cells (oxidative stress). We thus age more quickly and earlier: wrinkles and fine lines, sagging skin, pigmentation spots… appear prematurely and are more pronounced.
- Recent studies have shown the harmful effects of tobacco on metalloprotease, an enzyme responsible for the production (and destruction) of collagen and elastin fibers, which are essential to the beauty and youthfulness of our skin.
What can we do to fight the harmful effects of tobacco on our skin?
Stop smoking of course! The positive effects of stopping this bad habit are furthermore rapidly visible on the skin: better oxygenated, more radiant, dark circles less pronounced, etc.
Then, it is possible to use non-surgical medico-aesthetic solutions to visibly improve the radiance of smokers’ skin. We will be able to stimulate cell renewal and microcirculation while providing the necessary nutrients.
Thus, following a personalized consultation, we can propose peeling sessions or revitalizing mesotherapy with hyaluronic acid rich in antioxidants, mineral salts, and vitamins, in particular vitamin C.
- A medical peel, primarily with fruit acids (glycolic acid), is the benchmark treatment to refresh the skin by removing dead cells and impurities. As a bonus, it tightens the pores, smooths fine lines, and evens out the complexion. The skin is more radiant!
- Mesotherapy is also the basis of any beautiful skin program and this at any age. This revitalizing and hydrating cocktail is injected using a mesotherapy gun: it is painless, you feel just mild tingling. The serum comprises antioxidants (to fight oxidative stress), mineral salts, peptides, and vitamins that will nourish the skin. It also contains liquid hyaluronic acid to ensure hydration.
These two gentle techniques also work well together, with, as a bonus, a few minutes of medical LED therapy at the end of the session. This gentle beneficial light will stimulate the mitochondria, « energy plants » of the cells.