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How Smoking Affects Tattoo Removal Success

7th February 2014

In case you needed another reason not to smoke, studies have shown that along with ink colour, tattoo size, location and age, an individual's smoking status can affect how successful laser tattoo removal is.

The research

According to research conducted in Italy, people who had ten sessions of laser tattoo removal had a 70% lower success rate if they were smokers. Not only this but smokers may find the procedure even more painful.


The affect on tattoo removal is thought to be linked to the effect smoking has on the body's ability to heal. A person’s immune and inflammatory response is greatly altered when smoking, making you more prone to infection and will need longer between sessions to heal.

Not clear?

There are many factors that may affect how successful tattoo removal is, and smoking being one of them is still being investigated. It is important to do your research before committing to procedures like this, making sure you are aware of anything that may cause limitations so you have realistic expectations of what the end result will be.

Talk to a dermatologist or a specialised skin clinic if you have questions as they are in the best position to answer your concerns.

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