The debate over whether vaping is safer than cigarettes now has a new issue thrown into the mix – vaping could be damaging your skin.
Vapes were initially sold as a better alternative to smoking cigarettes, but recently we’ve been seeing how a vaping habit can have detrimental effects.
Research has also shown that vaping can increase the risk of lung and heart disease. Also, quite horrifyingly, illegal vapes being sold in the UK were found to contain harmful metals.
Meanwhile, the UK government is considering banning flavoured or colourful branded vapes to make them less appealing to children.
As we learn more about the health impacts of vapes, our skin has largely been ignored.
But skin is the largest bodily organ, and is just as sensitive to the nicotine and chemicals found in vapes.
‘We still don’t have enough information about the long-term implications [vaping] has on the body,’ surgical and aesthetic doctor, Dr Deepa Panch, tells Metro.co.uk.
Dr Deepa, who runs two aesthetic clinics, said that it’s not just the nicotine we should be concerned about. Even huffing on nicotine-free vapes could be a danger to your skin.
‘Alongside nicotine, vaping contains a multitude of other chemicals,’ Dr Deepa says.
One of these is propylene glycol, which creates those puffs of smoke that come out of vapes.
It’s also a well-known skin allergen, Dr Deepa explains. ‘This can cause irritation to the skin, particularly in those who have sensitive skin such as eczema, rosacea and psoriasis.’
Scientific studies have repeatedly confirmed that vaping could be affecting your skin.
For example, contact dermatitis and oral mucosal lesions have been reported with the use of vapes, according to this 2019 study.
Contact dermatitis is a type of eczema triggered by contact with a particular substance.
Essentially, an itchy rash appearing on your face could be caused by vaping.
Back to the nicotine – it’s a whole issue on its own.
Dr Deepa said that, just like smoking cigarettes, the nicotine in vapes can cause problems with blood flow.
This can ‘impede the delivery of nutrients to the skin’.
The result is dull and dehydrated-looking skin and skin that struggles to heal.
It could be undoing the benefits of anti-ageing skincare, too.
‘The movements made by the mouth when vaping or smoking can accelerate the formation of lines and wrinkles in that area,’ Dr Deepa says.
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