E-Cigarette Reviews and Rankings

Does Vaping Cause Acne?

These days, when electronic cigarettes are accused of causing all sorts of serious health conditions, it may seem trivial to even bring up a link between vaping and acne, but if that’s what is keeping some smokers from even giving e-cigarettes a try, it’s something that should at least be discussed.

To be perfectly honest, I never even realized acne and electronic cigarettes had any connection, speculative or otherwise. It was only after coming across a few forum posts on this subject that I started doing some research on it, because it seemed like some people genuinely believed their acne was being caused by vaping. But, after spending a few days scouring the internet for any kind of association between the two, I came up empty-handed.

There just doesn’t seem to be any scientific evidence that vaping causes acne. The few studies on dermatologic conditions associated with the use of e-cigarettes didn’t even mention acne, and although some anecdotal evidence can be found online, in at least some of the cases the acne can be correlated to other factors, like pre-existing skin problems, pollution, cosmetics, etc..

Theoretically, switching from smoking to vaping is more likely to help cure a person’s acne than make it worse. As you probably already know, apart from tar and carbon monoxide, smoking also exposes you to around 7,000 known toxins and carcinogens, and because smokers constantly expose themselves to this harmful cocktail, the body has no time to detox. The problem is that often times, when making the switch to vaping, things get worse before getting better.

Ever heard of something called “quit zits”? The name pretty much says it all, but it basically refers to an acne breakout that usually coincides with smoking cessation. Because the body is prevented from going into detox mode by the constant intake of toxins, when this influx finally stops, the body goes into an upheaval. The toxins are ejected through the skin and other soft tissues, and one of the most common symptoms is acne.

While keeping yourself hydrated is a good idea when experiencing quit zits, it doesn’t always help mitigate the severity of the acne. It’s something that you just have to wait out, as it will go away once most of the toxins have been eliminated from the body.

Quit zits are one of the most common causes of acne associated with electronic cigarettes. People manage to quit smoking, but instead of experiencing a healthier alternative, they get more pimples than a teenager, and it makes them question their decision. If that’s you, just give it a bit more time, and you’ll see that it’s only a temporary issue.

Nicotine is also a suspect when it comes to acne, as it is known to stimulate collagen-producing cells, which makes the skin tighten, rapping even more fat and dirt in its spores. That can result in nasty pimples, but in reality, if nicotine were indeed a considerable factor, acne would be much more common among vapers, which it most certainly isn’t.

There are theories going around that propylene glycol or vegetable glycerin (the two main ingredients in e-liquid) could be to blame for acne outbursts, but at present there is no real evidence to suggest that that is true.

At this point, there is simply insufficient data on the relationship between vaping and acne, so I guess you could say that the jury is still out in this one. That said, the fact that for every person who suggests that using e-cigarettes has caused an acne flare-up, there are at least two who claim that the exact opposite is true.

Photo: Kjerstin Michaela Noomi Sakura Gihle Martinsen Haraldsen 

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