Will Active Fx still work for me if I am a smoker?

Will Active FX still build collagen if I am a smoker? I am 55 and smoke about a pack of cigarettes every 3 days. I want to have it done but worried about negative results.

Doctor Answers 9

We strongly advice that one not smoke

Thanks for your question – and we strongly advice that one not smoke going into any surgical or cosmetic procedure. The procedure will surely work, but wound healing can be delayed in some and with smoking, the risk of post-operative complications can be greater. So if you smoke, try to stop as long as possible before the procedure and then while the skin is healing.


Nashville Dermatologic Surgeon
3.9 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Active FX® treatment and smokers

The active FX® laser treatment can provide  very nice results in smokers. It will help tighten the skin and eradicate brown spots. One must remember that age-related changes in  skin appearance and texture can be exacerbated by smoking, sun exposure and other environmental exposures. Unless these contributing factors are controlled in your life, the long-term results from the fractionated CO2 laser treatment will be abbreviated. Generally, I have found that light smoking does little to impair the healing of laser treatments (In contrast to the effects of tobacco upon healing after any form of body lifts and facelifts). If you are a heavy smoker, you may consider some form of hyperbaric oxygen treatment immediately after the procedure to maximally ensure a smooth and rapid recovery.

Randal Haworth, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Active FX and smoking

Active Fx is an excellent treatment for fine wrinkles and aging caused by smoking.  There are many benefits to be gained even if you are still smoking.  It makes sense to take the step to quit since you are looking to reverse the damages caused by smoking in the first place.  Best of luck. Dr. Michael Omidi




An in-person exam with a board-certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist is the best way to assess your needs and provide true medical advice.

Michael M. Omidi, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

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Lasers in Smokers

Active FX will still build collagen even if you are smoker. However as I am sure you are aware, smoking causes premature aging of the skin, increased skin cancers, and wrinkling. I don't have to tell you that stopping smoking is in her best interest.

Active FX and Smoking

Thank you for your question. Yes, but not as well. The CO2 laser stimulates collagen to grow, and the tobacco/nicotine is a growth blocker so, yes it will help, but stopping the cigarettes will probably do more for you. We treat smokers, and have them stop for a week prior to treatment, and resume in 7-10 days, if absolutely needed. Smoking and CO2 resurfacing is like wanting to swim and stay dry. I hope this helps!

Vivek Bansal, MD
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Active FX in smoker

Active FX will work in smokers, but there are several issues here.
One, smokers typically have more skin damage and rhytids, making it difficult to achieve a nice result with just one fractional treatment. Secondly, the healing process is delayed in smokers increasing the risk of complications. Lastly results after fractional resurfacing will not last as long if someone continues to smoke.
So, yes you can have fractional treatments if you smoke, but there are many good reasons to quit smoking beforehand!

Mark Hamilton, MD
Indianapolis Facial Plastic Surgeon
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Active FX and smoking

There are 2 issues involved here.  The first is whether the wounds will heal after surgery if someone is actively smoking.  While post-resurfacing wounds do heal in smokers, they frequently do so more slowly and the risk of complications such as infection or simply chemical irritation is higher.  The second issue is whether the tissues will respond as well to laser resurfacing in someone smokes.  In general, the greater the degree of damage and degeneration the more difficult it is to achieve a favorable outcome.

Brian Biesman, MD
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4.8 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Active FX and Smoking

Yes, Active FX will still work if you are a smoker but it is critical that you do not smoke during the healing process. Optimal blood and oxygen flow is very important in the healing process.

Kimberly Butterwick, MD
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Active FX for smokers

Smokers are not "good" candidates for any invasive procedure on the face, but in some cases fractional resurfacing can be safely performed by the appropriate doctor after quitting for 2-4 weeks. If you plan to continue smoking your results may be short-lived however.

Roy A. David, MD
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These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.