Thirdhand Smoke Weakens the Skin’s Ability to Heal and Grow Normally

A recent study led by Dr. Rengin Reis at Acibadem Mehmet Ali Aydinlar University in Turkey measured how thirdhand smoke exposure impacts skin cells. Reis exposed the skin cells to thirdhand smoke on a piece of polluted cloth. She found that the cells exposed to thirdhand smoke had slower wound healing and did not produce as much collagen, the building block of skin. In addition, the exposed cells’ mitochondria, the part of cells that makes their energy, did not produce energy correctly. 

A row of healthy skin cells, layers of healthy skin, and a mitochondria next to a row of skin cells, layers of skin with missing collagen and smoke, and a mitochondria impacted by thirdhand smoke

These results support existing research demonstrating that skin contact with thirdhand smoke weakens the skin’s ability to heal and grow normally. Your skin can come into contact with thirdhand smoke in many situations, including when you wear polluted clothes, drive a car where people have smoked, stay in a hotel room where people have smoked, or thrift clothes that were previously owned by someone who smoked. To have healthy skin, people should not smoke, avoid being around people who are smoking, and avoid places where smoking happens often. If you must go to a place where smoking frequently happens or be around people who are smoking, you should shower and change clothes (or at least wash your hands) as soon as possible after leaving.

Click here to read the research study.

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