Do e-cigarettes age skin and can vaping complicate cosmetic surgery results?


Experts say that smoking e-cigarettes – or vaping, as it’s better known – is safer than smoking traditional cigarettes.

A new long-term study reveals that e-cigarettes are less toxic and less harmful to use compared to conventional cigarettes.

But is it ok to vape in the run-up to plastic surgery?

The general advice to patients is to quit smoking at least three to four weeks before any invasive procedures.

This is because it raises the risk of post-surgery complications and can encourage poor wound healing.

And when it comes to e-cigarettes, evidence from one study suggests that the occurrence of post-surgery complications dropped from 40% to 20% in patients who stopped vaping at least a month before their treatment.

Researchers, backed by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), warn against using vaporised nicotine in the lead up to any invasive cosmetic treatment.

Whilst there exists much uncertainty about the impact of e-cigarette smoking on recovery and healing, for those of us considering a facial cosmetic procedure, such as a facelift or a nose job, we are encouraged to quit vaping both before and after surgery.

The study – E-Cigarettes and Potential Implications for Plastic Surgery – says this is the wisest approach until further studies investigate the effects of vaporised nicotine on the survival of skin and soft-tissue flaps.

With surveys showing two-thirds of smokers would like to quit, there are now more options available to help us tackle our addiction.

In 2012, Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) carried out an online survey of 10,000 adults in England and found that one fifth of smokers had tried e-cigarettes and that one out of five users of e-cigarettes have quiet smoking altogether.

The effectiveness and safety of e-cigarettes however, and the ease with which they can be acquired, has been a recent topic of speculation as many doctors and GPs want tighter regulations on their availability – and some even in favour of a complete ban.

E-cigarette were only properly introduced in the mid-2000s and precautions should be necessary until their safety is better established, we are warned.

In Scotland, sales of e-cigarettes to under-18s are banned and proof of age is necessary from anyone who appears under the age of 25.

And when it comes to premature ageing, e-cigarettes are not much better than conventional cigarettes it seems.

They still have properties that cause cancer, high blood pressure, heart disease and other negative effects on health along with nicotine, which causes premature ageing in the same way as regular cigarettes. This means that they are certainly damaging to our physical appearance.

Recently, the first study ever to investigate the impact of e-cigarettes, revealed that they remain damaging to our gums and teeth, too, with the chemicals having serious implications for not just aesthetics but for the health of our mouths as well.

Vaping recently appeared in a top 50 list of Brits’ bad habits, with bad breath appearing in the top 50 turn offs.

A survey by Mintel this week suggests the vaping boom is over – the lack of licensed products on sale and marketed as smoking cessation methods has been blamed for a faltering market, an expert suggests.

The recent studies that are inconclusive and conflicting has also muddied the waters when it comes to their safety and possible skin ageing properties.

A series of cases involving exploding e-cigarettes widely reported in the media haven’t helped their take up and many of us would like to see more regulations so that we can make a safer choice in our smoking cessation aids.

Our lifestyle choices can have a big impact on cosmetic surgery outcomes.

We are also advised to avoid alcohol consumption – it can impede recovery, increase swelling (especially with rhinoplasty) and works against the effects of painkillers. A cocktail of booze and medication is never a good idea and its dehydration properties will put paid to a healthy recovery of our skin.

For best results, we should give up booze two weeks before and after any surgery, doctors say.
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