This Is Why Dermatologists Care About Your Smoking Habits

This Is Why Dermatologists Care About Your Smoking Habits


Your Smoking Habits Matter to Your Nashville Dermatologist

We know that cancer is a significant cause of deaths in the United States - but did you know that 30% of cancer deaths are attributed to smoking? According to a new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, smoking remains the largest preventable cause of death from cancer and other diseases, yet there are still 40 million smokers in the U.S.

While men are more likely to smoke than women, it’s been found that their chromosomes may also be to blame for their higher cancer death rate; recent research has shown that smoking reduces the number of Y chromosomes in blood cells, which help contain tumors. In some states, however, female smokers are catching up to men. Recently, a higher proportion of women were found to be smokers than men in South Dakota, Montana and Arkansas.

You might be wondering why this is important to me - even though I am a dermatologist, I am also fully invested in helping my patients in Nashville become their healthiest selves. That’s why I ensure my staff asks all our patients if they smoke - if the answer is yes, we inquire about the frequency and we calculate their risk for other diseases. Should their score be high, our dermatologists give them an information sheet showing them where to seek out the resources they need to stop smoking, which of course, includes their primary care physician.

When we first started doing this, our patients were taken quite aback - this wasn’t the kind of inquiry they expected their dermatologist to make. Now that they understand it’s normal, our Nashville patients have come to truly appreciate the effort and interest we take in their well-being and risk for cancer. While they may not quit just yet, it means a lot to them to just have someone in Nashville asking about their health and knowing they have support.

Remember: while we are skincare specialists and dermatologists, we always want our Nashville patients to be healthy all the way around, inside and out - that’s the secret to making their skin glow! If you’re a smoker who also wants to have great skin, visit us at Skin Solutions Dermatology in Nashville, Franklin, Columbia, Smyrna, Hendersonville or Pulaski to chat with our amazing team of dermatologists! Take advantage of our online booking system and book an appointment today.

Sources: JAMA Internal Medicine, Nature

Relevant Buzz: Air Pollution and Your Skin: What You Need to Know, Your Diet Impacts Your Cancer Risk Factors

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Dr Pena

About The Author

Dr. Pena is a Board-Certified Medical Dermatologist, Mohs skin cancer surgeon, and cosmetic dermatologist. Her mission is to educate the diverse patient populations she serves, and their communities, on the importance of skin care in decreasing the risk of skin cancer and minimizing the early signs of aging. She founded Skin Solutions Dermatology with numerous clinics in Nashville, Tennessee and surrounding Middle Tennessee.

Dr. Julia Pena, MD