Tobacco Use and Skin Disease

Melody Vander Straten, MD, Daniel Carrasco, MD, Martha S. Paterson, MD, Monica L. Mccrary, MD, Diane J. Meyer, MD, Stephen K. Tyring, MD, PhD, Galveston, Tex 

South Med J. 2001;94(6) 

In This Article

Key Points


  • Dermatologic effects of cigarette smoking include facial wrinkling, facial gauntness, complexion color changes, decreased skin moisture, yellowed nails, harlequin nails, halitosis, nicotine stomatitis, and skin burns.

  • Indirect effects of cigarette smoking include poor wound healing; psoriasis; atherosclerotic peripheral vascular disease; Buerger's disease; Raynaud's disease; diabetic foot disease; oral yeast infections; condyloma acuminatum; and cutaneous findings in HIV and AIDS, Crohn's disease, and malignancies.

  • Recognition of dermatologic signs of tobacco use can be a clue to many of the serious underlying systemic diseases associated with smoking and also with use of smokeless tobacco.

  • Physicians need to be aware of the cessation techniques available and know how to choose the one most helpful to an individual.



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