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How Tobacco Use Inhibits Tattoo Removal

Smoking and Tattoo RemovalIf you’ve looked into having laser tattoo removal, you already know that your overall good health is important to success.  Healthy, active people generally have strong immune systems and good circulation, both of which are key to removing ink.  The use of tobacco can seriously hinder even an otherwise healthy person’s tattoo removal success.  We know from a study published in the Archives of Dermatology  that the laser tattoo removal process is 70% less effective for tobacco users.  Perhaps the desire to have your ex’s name removed from your arm will be the incentive you need to quit this deadly habit.

Laser tattoo removal works by the laser breaking apart tattoo ink under the skin.  When the fragments are small enough, the body’s lymphatic system is able to surround the particles and flush them out of the body as it would with other foreign substances.  This requires good circulation to the tattooed area and an available immune system that can devote cells to carrying out these fragments. The reasons behind tobacco’s blow to your tattoo removal’s success include:

-Constriction of blood vessels reducing blood flow to skin

-Carbon Monoxide binds to red blood cells, starving the body of oxygen

-Reduced blood flow to extremities, enough to cause a 5 degree drop in temperature of extremities

-Weakening of the immune system due to nicotine’s effect on white blood cells known as reduced antibody response

-Internal nicotine vascularization hardened arteries and arterial disease further reducing blood flow

Smokeless tobacco (AKA chew or dip) delivers more nicotine to the body than smoking.  This habit is every bit as dangerous as smoking and will hinder tattoo removal even more than smoking.

Reducing the number of cigarettes smoked unfortunately does not significantly boost your body’s ability to expel ink.   According to the American Heart Association, smoking 3 to 5 cigarettes per day will cause 70% of the same damaging effects that smoking 25 or more cigarettes per day does.  Even smoking a few cigarettes a day will inhibit your immune system, reduce circulation, and cause disease.

The good news is, your body can quickly regain good health after quitting tobacco use.  After about 3 months, tattoo removal treatments will show marked improvement.