Smoking has always been linked to sagging skin and increased risk of wrinkles but it also increases the risk of a variant of skin cancer, research says. It is a departure from the usual list of health complications caused by smoking, particularly heart diseases and lung cancer. This study was carried out by Fiona Bath-Hextall of the University of Nottingham in England.
The researchers from this University accumulated the available evidence on the relation between tobacco and two types of skin cancers, namely basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Both of these are initiated in the outer layer of the skin.
There were six studies for squamous cell cancer varying in duration, design and size. They revealed that smokers have a 52 per cent increased risk of the cancer compared to those who do not smoke. The 14 studies on basal cell cancer showed no risk of the cancer linked to smoking.
As all studies are based on observations, the researchers said that it is not possible for them to state whether it was only smoking that led to the increased risk. But given that squamous cell variant of the cancer remained unaffected, it suggests that the basal cell variant is indeed brought about by smoking.