Does vaping cause acne in adults?

The question is often asked, does vaping cause acne or will vaping affect my skin? Most vapers know they should avoid getting vape liquid on their hands or skin as it can cause dermatitis or skin irritation. But are there other ways vaping might affect skin conditions such as acne in adults?

Does vaping cause acne?

There is no scientific evidence to suggest vaping directly causes acne. Many people find their skin changes after quitting smoking or transitioning to vaping. Infamously known as “quit zits” most people find acne resolves within a few weeks of quitting.

Some vapers who have a history of acne report their skin gets much clearer after switching from smoking to vaping. This could be due to the fact you are inhaling much fewer chemicals with vaping compared to smoking.

However other anecdotes report the opposite, with people prone to acne seeing a worsening in their outbreaks after starting to vape. There could be many reasons for this, some people find they are sensitive to ingredients in vape liquid such as propylene glycol or flavourings. 

Although there is no direct correlation between acne and vaping, how vaping will affect your skin is different for each person.

How does nicotine affect skin?

The nicotine from smoking and vaping also reduces the blood flow and therefore oxygen and nutrient delivery to the skin. Over time this can lead to the skin becoming dry, flaky or reduce collagen production that makes our skin look plump and vital.

Having plenty of proof that increased cigarette smoking causes damage to the skin, researchers have further explored how smoking affects genetic markers associated with facial ageing.

This study indicated that smoking can speed up the effects of facial aging both from a genetic and subjective visual perspective. Dermatologists report parallel features in the faces of vapers such as increased fine lines and wrinkles, dark spots or a loss of elasticity in the skin.

How does vaping affect the body?

It’s not merely your skin that is affected by vaping and smoking. The microbiome in your gut plays a key role in the manifestation of skin conditions such as acne.

Good bacteria and bad bacteria live in a state of dynamic balance in your gut, both smoking and vaping can affect the diversity and harmony of these “good and bad guys”.

Along with our food, mood, and environment, vaping or smoking can alter the balance of the microbiome in the digestive system which can lead to changes in the bacteria, oils and moisture in the skin.

Prescription Nicotine in Australia

Vaping and caring for your skin

If you’re experiencing acne that you think might be associated with vaping, there are some simple ways to take care of your skin. Make sure you drink enough water, vaping can be seriously dehydrating!

Avoid getting any vape liquid on your hands or clothes and make sure your vape device isn’t leaking. Residual e-liquid on your hands can be transferred to your face and cause skin irritation.

Lastly, make sure you are accessing quality vape devices and liquids from legal sources such as Prescription Vape. Black market vapes sold at tobacconists and general stores are unregulated and may contain additional toxic chemicals.

Diacetyl and other flavours which are prohibited under Australian standards can deplete the body’s antioxidant levels. If antioxidant levels are insufficient, our skin can’t cleanse and regenerate itself effectively. This may lead to clogged pores and poor skin integrity which provides a perfect environment for acne.

Vaping and acne

There is no clear association between acne and vaping, vaping is still a relatively new phenomenon so we can expect to see more research done into the effects of vaping on the skin in the future.

The bottom line is, that it is difficult to discern what factors might be contributing to acne breakouts. Each person’s body is unique and individual, so whether your acne might be related to vaping is not a simple conclusion.

Regardless, if you’re reading this chances are you’ve switched to vaping – so congratulations on quitting smoking! We recommend that if you continue to have skin complaints it’s a good idea to speak with your GP.

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