In today’s society it is pretty well known the harm that smoking cigarettes can do to the body. Doctors will always recommend their patients quit this habit. Most people know the harmful effects cigarettes can have on the lungs, teeth, oral hygiene, skin, and hair. However, smoking’s effect on the veins isn’t talked about as often. Veins run throughout the body, so their health can clearly affect the health of your entire body; it’s crucial that you know what cigarette smoke can do to your veins.
There are dangerous chemicals and other toxins in cigarettes. When a person inhales a cigarette’s smoke, the smoke enters the body and goes through a person’s circulatory system, and it can have harmful side effects. Nicotine, found in cigarettes, can cause the body’s arteries to narrow and harden, which increases a person’s chances of developing a blood clot. Other chemicals in a cigarette can thicken blood and reduce oxygen flow, which creates poor circulation throughout the body.
Vein damage caused by smoking often reveals itself in the form of varicose veins and spider veins. Not only are these veins unsightly, but they can be painful, and even life-threatening. Varicose veins can lead to more serious conditions like deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE). DVT is when a blood clot forms deep within a person’s veins. PE occurs when a blood clot breaks off and travels through the bloodstream and becomes stuck in the lungs, which blocks/restricts blood flow, and can result in death. Statistically, smokers are 50 percent more likely to develop DVT than non-smokers.
To keep your veins healthy and ward off venous diseases, it’s best to quit smoking, or even better, never start smoking. By quitting smoking, you will greatly reduce your risk of developing a venous insufficiency, along with reducing your risks for heart disease and cancer. Unfortunately, if you are a smoker and decide to quit, you cannot undo/reverse all the damage done from inhaling all those toxins and chemicals over the years. If you continue to smoke, there is a higher probability you will need vein treatment due to the development of some type of venous condition.
If you’re a smoker or have recently quit smoking and are worried about your vein health, it’s time to see a vein specialist. Dr. Peter Mikhail can examine you and determine if you’re showing any signs of a venous condition or disease. Dr. Mikhail treats varicose veins, spider veins, and other venous inefficiencies in the cities of Tampa, Clearwater, and New Port Richey, Florida. To book a consult, click here or call 727-312-4844.