Does Smoking Affect Tattoo Removal?

Does Smoking Affect Tattoo Removal?

Laser tattoo removal is a great option for individuals that would like a change or would like to just get rid of some ink that they may not want anymore. Since this process includes laser technology, it is best to be in good health in order to have a successful recovery. It is important to recover from this process well and in a healthy way to not disturb the skin too much, therefore healthy wellness practices must be maintained.

Laser Tattoo Removal


Specialists use a Q-switched device to perform this procedure. It emits high-energy laser pulses in minute nanoseconds. The device heats and pulverizes the ink in your skin.

The lymphatic system in your body is then triggered to recover. It latches onto the ink particles and clears them from the body after the laser breaks them down. Because the body does the bulk of the work, many factors can affect its functioning.

Factors That Affect Tattoo Removal


Apart from your commitment to removing your tattoo, several other factors may affect the length and effectiveness of the procedure. Some of these factors are:

  • Skin tone - dark skin tones take longer for successful tattoo removal

  • Tattoo location - Removing tattoos is more effective in areas closer to the heart

  • Ink type and quality - Each artist has a unique way of mixing their pigments

  • Size and age of tattoo - The size of your tattoos dictates the number of removal sessions, and tattoos fade as they get older, sinking deeper into your skin

  • Smoking cannabis or tobacco

  • Immune system - A healthy system is vital for tattoo removal

  • Sun exposure - Avoid undergoing the procedure when you have sunburns on the tattoo area


Cigarettes and Tattoo Removal


Smoking tobacco has a long-standing negative association with wound healing. They have numerous pathogens that interrupt the healing process after tattoo removal. Toxins like hydrogen cyanide, carbon dioxide, and nicotine make wounds heal slower than usual. They constrict veins in your body, reducing the flow of blood.

Hydrogen cyanide blocks the enzymes that are vital for oxygen transport. It increases the body’s metabolic profile. Carbon dioxide restricts the red blood cells’ ability to transport oxygen to your skin.

Studies show that up to 70% of smokers have long healing periods after tattoo removal. Nonsmokers need an average of 10 to 12 sessions to eradicate their tattoos. Tobacco smokers, however, need 15 or more similar sessions.

Cannabis Smoking and Tattoo Removal


Like cigarettes, smoking cannabis can also affect your body’s ability to heal quickly. Referring to the same principles of wound healing, smoke from cannabis may prolong the process of tattoo removal. It also restricts the circulation of blood throughout your body.

What to Do


Most medical specialists recommend regular hydration and eating healthy before making that appointment. Regular exercise helps improve the process of tattoo removal, making for fewer appointments. Assuming a healthy lifestyle helps balance your body’s internal systems. It ensures that blood flows evenly, supplying oxygen and nutrients sufficiently.

For more on the effect of smoking on tattoo removal, visit at our office in Berkeley, California. You can call (510) 710-7221 to schedule an appointment today.


Book an appointment to
start the journey back to
​​​​​​​your future now!


rats3898 none 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM Closed Closed Plastic Surgery # # #