Collagen Renewal After Smoking?

Can collagen be renewed after 5 years of smoking cigarettes?

Doctor Answers 2

Collagen Renewal

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You have taken the first great step and that is to stop smoking. At least the damage will be limited now. the next thing you need to do if you don't already and that is to protect your skin from the other great skin ager and that is the sun. Damaged skin, including collagen, pigmentation, and vascular problems can all be repaired, but the skin can never be completely returned to it's most youthful look, but the results of different treatments can be very pleasing for the patients. The treatments can range from microdermabrasion to superficial and deep peels, to fillers, to laser rejuvenation and laser resurfacing, or sometimes a combination of these. It depends on the amount of skin and collagen damage that you have, your goals and expectations, and sometimes finances. So visit with an experienced board certified physician (plastic surgery, dermatology or facial plastics) who has experience in all modes of treatment so that he/she can advise you on the best treatment to achieve your goals based on the anatomical changes and damage to the skin that is noted.

Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon


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Thank you for your question.

Congratulations is you have decided to quit smoking and accomplished it! Smoking causes a great degree of systemic harm as well as direct harm to your skin. To answer your question, yes, you will get resumption of some collagen remodeling after quitting smoking. I forget what the statistics are, but even life expectancy (a surrogate marker for systemic effects) normalizes close to those who have never smoked after several years (I believe 5-7, but don't quote me on that).

If you have stopped smoking, your skin will begin to repair and improve. You may have residual effects (wrinkles around the mouth, discoloration, etc) that may need laser resurfacing or a dermal filler, but your own body will help make these areas improve as well.

Hope this helps!

Don Mehrabi, MD
Beverly Hills Dermatologist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.