Nicotine effects on skin: are they positive or negative?

Exp Dermatol. 2004 Nov;13(11):665-70. doi: 10.1111/j.0906-6705.2004.00274.x.


The adverse effects of tobacco on the skin are well known but the role of nicotine is more controversial. Nicotinic receptors are expressed in the skin, on keratinocytes, fibroblasts and blood vessels. Nicotine induces vasoconstriction associated with local hyperaemia. It inhibits inflammation through effects on central and peripheral nervous system and through direct effect on immune cells. It delays wound healing and accelerates skin aging. The role of nicotine on skin diseases remains unclear. Therapeutic effects of nicotine could be possible and this a new stimulating field of research.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging / drug effects
  • Animals
  • Blood Vessels / drug effects*
  • Fibroblasts / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Hyperemia / metabolism
  • Inflammation / etiology
  • Keratinocytes / drug effects*
  • Nicotine / administration & dosage*
  • Nicotine / adverse effects*
  • Skin / drug effects*
  • Skin Diseases / etiology
  • Vasoconstrictor Agents / pharmacology
  • Wound Healing / drug effects


  • Vasoconstrictor Agents
  • Nicotine