So, you’re thinking about getting a tattoo, or you just got one done and you have a lot of questions? Don’t worry, we’re here to help. Getting a tattoo is one of the most exciting things in life. After all, you’re getting something that will hopefully last you a lifetime; so, might as well do some research and get all the information possible, right?
We’re truly passionate about providing all the necessary information to our readers regarding all the stages of tattooing, even the aftermath of getting tattooed. This is probably one of the most important stages when it comes to proper healing of the tattoo.
Now, when talking about taking care of a new tattoo, we cannot help but mention the ever-important aftercare routine as well as some lifestyle changes people need to implement in order for the tattoo to heal nicely and healthily.
In the following paragraphs we’ll talk about the relationship between smoking and tattoo aftercare; how smoking affects the tattoo healing process and whether you should smoke after getting a tattoo at all. So, without any further ado, let’s jump right in!
Smoking After Getting Inked – Yes or No?
General Health Effects of Smoking
Did you know that it only takes 10 seconds for the first cigarette puff (and all of its toxic chemicals) to reach your vital organs, brain, heart, and all the other organs? Doctors don’t advocate anti-smoking rhetoric for no reason. Smoking harms your body in every possible way and is known to directly cause many different diseases.
Not to mention the way it affects your appearance, making your skin look dull and washed out, tired and yellow. Even if you don’t inhale the tobacco, it can still harm your body and health as the lining of your mouth still absorbs the toxic chemicals.
So, yes, these would be the general effects of smoking; to sum it up, tobacco or cigarettes affect your health adversely in every possible way. If we wanted to go into some detail, we would also say that smoking deprives your heart of oxygen (necessary to pump blood), nicotine narrows your veins and arteries, causes you to cough (lung tissue damage and mucus production), ensures your breath is forever bad and your teeth are yellow, and so much more.
And, of course, dreadful statistics are stating that 2/3 of long-term smokers will die of smoking-related diseases and have their life cut short by about 10 years.
Hopefully, if you’re a smoker, you won’t need us to convince you to stop smoking in the next following paragraphs. All of the information mentioned in these paragraphs should be enough to make you ask yourself; why am I doing this to myself? So, unrelated to the topic of this article, we urge smokers to truly reconsider their choices and hopefully give up smoking. But, we’re here to discuss the effects of smoking after getting inked, so we’ll continue with that.
Effects Of Smoking After Getting Ink
The effects of smoking are the same on the body, regardless of whether you’re inked or not. As we mentioned in the previous paragraphs, your body is exposed to all sorts of toxic chemicals in the very first 10 seconds of the first cigarette puff.
However, we need to take a closer look at how those toxic chemicals affect your tattoo, its healing process, and your overall skin health.
Generally speaking, smoking is known to prevent the proper healing of wounds or make wounds heal more slowly thanks to the deoxygenation of tissues and the cardiovascular effects of nicotine and tar (alongside other chemicals found in cigarettes). Doesn’t sound good, right?
Toxins found in cigarettes, like carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide, and nicotine are all known to increase wound healing time. They cause decreased blood flow, reduce red blood cells (and their oxygen-carrying function), and inhibit oxygen-transporting enzymes from reacher the ‘tattooed’ skin.
Now, because smoking prevents normal wound healing, one can, unfortunately, experience the following issues; inflammation of the tattoo, as well as a tattoo infection. Both of these can occur because the longer the tattooed skin isn’t ‘closed’ and dried, the greater the risk of bacteria exposure and growth within the fresh tattoo.
As a result, the tattoo becomes contaminated, which results in a full-blown infection. A tattoo infection can be treated but it can cause it to heal improperly or the infection can mess up the tattoo design entirely. Generally, after experiencing a tattoo infection, people often opt for tattoo removal as well (mostly because the tattoo doesn’t look good or the design is completely messed up).
Effects of Cannabis Smoking After Getting Ink
It is no secret that many people replace cigarettes with cannabis during their tattoo aftercare period. The idea is to replace unhealthy cigarettes with healthy cannabis, right? Well, unfortunately, cannabis smoking can be just as bad as cigarette smoking. Cannabis, although having some good health effects, acts the same as cigarettes in terms of wound healing.
It functions on the same principle of prolonging the wound healing time and risking tattoo infection. Smoking of any kind basically causes issues with blood flow, oxygen transportation to the wound, and the overall circulatory system. So, should you be smoking cannabis after getting inked? Well, definitely not!
Effects of Smoking After Tattoo Removal
We cannot skip the discussion of smoking after getting a tattoo removal. To avoid being repetitive, we’ll keep things short.
Laser tattoo removal (we hope you’re considering this kind of tattoo removal), is the safest and most effective tattoo removal option. However, smoking can compromise even the best tattoo removal option thanks to its harmful toxins. Sure, your body can handle tattoo removal, and the skin undergoes the treatment rather well.
But, even so, the skin needs to heal. After all, it has been exposed to strong infrared energy targeting the ink inside the ink, heating it up, and dissipating it into the skin. This requires recovery. Even when you’re in the process of tattoo removal, you have to wait for a few weeks between sessions to allow your skin to heal and recover.
As we mentioned, smoking inhibits proper healing and prolongs the healing period. Therefore, you going to your next tattoo removal session with your skin not healed can put you at risk of some serious skin damage. Not to mention, it will make the whole process much more uncomfortable and painful, and you’re at risk of not being able to get rid of the tattoo you don’t want anymore.
So, Can You Smoke After Getting Inked?
Well, technically, yes, you can smoke, whenever you want. But, will it be good for you, especially when dealing with a fresh tattoo? No, it won’t. Smoking is as far away from anything good health-related as possible. So, we definitely DO NOT recommend smoking after getting inked or even after tattoo removal, nor do we recommend smoking in general.
The same applies to any type of smoking, including cigarettes as well as cannabis. If you’re having trouble stopping smoking or you require some help and assistance, we recommend you talk to your general practitioner or a psychologist who will guide you through the process and provide adequate help.
One of the reasons people keep on smoking lies in the addiction issues; many don’t think people can get addicted to cigarettes, but they most definitely can. So, having to stop smoking so abruptly after getting a tattoo can be difficult. However, it is necessary, in order for your tattoo to heal properly. So, if you need any help, talk to medical professionals who will provide adequate help and guide you through this process. It is never too late to stop smoking, so try to use this tattoo opportunity as a good-enough reason to try stopping smoking. We wish you all the luck and may you enjoy your new tattoo in good health!
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