People who smoke cigarettes these days do so with knowledge of the potential damage they could be doing to their health. Vape users don’t have the same decades of research to contradict their habit, though health concerns about vaping have been on the rise for the last several months when a national outbreak of a respiratory illness related to vaping first came to light.
Injuries are on the rise
On a doctor’s list of concerns about smoking, skin health isn’t a priority. The same can be said of vaping. But that shouldn’t imply that it’s insignificant. In a study published in October in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, researchers reviewed all of the previous studies of dermatologic conditions associated with the use of e-cigarettes. What they discovered is that there’s been an increase in the number of contact dermatitis cases associated with vape use.
Also: Between 2015 and 2017, an estimated 2,035 people were treated in US emergency rooms with “explosion and burn injuries from e-cigarettes,” according to the study. That number, the researchers said, is more than 40 times the amount of e-cigarette burn injuries reported by the Food and Drug Administration over the previous six years.
A logical comparison
More research needs to be done before we fully understand how vaping is affecting skin aesthetically. In the meantime, a growing number of dermatologists are drawing a logical comparison to the effects of smoking cigarettes on skin as they begin to see anecdotal evidence that vaping may cause users to look more mature than their age, similar to how smoking does, according to a recent study.
When you smoke a cigarette, you’re temporarily decreasing the oxygen supply to your face. The same thing happens when you vape. In cigarette smokers, that suffocation is what causes the face to age prematurely—textural irregularities may appear, fine lines and wrinkles increase, and elasticity decreases, causing the skin to sag sooner than it should.
As with smoking cigarettes, vaping can affect people to different degrees. Some can smoke into their 90s and look and feel relatively fine, while others die of lung cancer in their early 40s. Regardless of your genetic susceptibility, it’s becoming increasingly clear that smoking, in any form, leads to premature signs of aging.