In a recently published study in the Journal of American Academy of Dermatology, acne was found to be more prevalent among women who smoke than among women who do not smoke. Smokers comprised 66.3 percent of the total group that was studied. Two types of acne were observed: comedonal post-adolescent acne (CPAA) and papulopustular post- adolescent acne (PPAA).
CPAA acne is a type of acne that consists of non-inflammatory issues like whiteheads and blackheads that mostly affect areas of the forehead, along the jaw-line, and chin. Of the smokers in the group studied, nearly 73 percent suffered from comedonal acne.
PPAA acne is acne that consists of inflammatory issues like pustules (zits that appear as red circles with white or yellow centers) and papules (small, red, and tender bumps with no head). Only 29.4 percent of the group actually suffered from papulopustular post-adolescent acne. Being a smoker seemed to increase comedonal acne (CPAA), while it had little effect on papulopustular acne (PPAA).
Another study published by the Dermato-Endocrinology Journal in 2009 found similar results. Out of 1000 women studied, 277 (27.7 percent) were smokers. Of those women who smoked, an astounding 42 percent had acne! Less than 10 percent of nonsmokers in the study suffered from acne.
Acne may be more prevalent in women who smoke due to an increase in sebum (oil) excretion and a decrease in vitamin E. Vitamin E is beneficial for skin health and overall complete health, so obviously a decrease in this vitamin can be bad news.