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Dermatology. 1998;197(2):115-8.

The acute effect of smoking on cutaneous microcirculation blood flow in habitual smokers and nonsmokers.

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Department of Dermatology, University 'Federico II', Naples, Italy.



Smoking is known to be a primary cause of chronic harmful effects on the vascular system. It also induces some acute effects on the coronary circulation and on the ophthalmic artery.


The aim of our study was to assess the effect of smoking a single cigarette on cutaneous blood flow in habitual smokers as well as in nonsmokers.


A laser Doppler flowmeter was used to perform measurements of cutaneous microcirculation. Flowmetric data were recorded (i) before smoking, (ii) inhaling from an unlighted cigarette, (iii) during cigarette smoking, (iv) 2 and (v) 5 min after smoking.


We could show that smoking a single cigarette acts on the cutaneous microcirculation reducing blood flow in both groups of subjects (38.1% reduction in smokers and 28.1% reduction in nonsmokers; p <0.01). Interestingly, the recovery phase is faster in nonsmoker subjects than in smoker ones; in fact, the recovery is complete 2 and 5 min after cigarette smoking in nonsmokers and in smokers, respectively.


Smoking a single cigarette decreases the cutaneous blood flow in habitual smoker as well as in nonsmoker subjects. Moreover, the slower recovery phase of smokers suggests that their microcirculation become inured to smoke.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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