If I smoked a few puffs of a cigarette will that have any noticeable impact on my laser scar treatment?

I got Fraxel Laser treatment done twice and then a CO2 laser treatment one time in order to treat my laceration above my eye. I impulsively smoked 4 or 5 puffs of a cigarette not knowing it would do anything. I later found out online that even one puff can have an effect on the oxygen in your blood. Will this have any impact on how my scar will heal. And it has been about 3 weeks since I got my last the CO2 laser treatment done.

Doctor Answers 3

Your laser scar treatment results should be relatively unaffected.

While it’s true that you should avoid tobacco for the best laser scar treatment results, a few puffs of a cigarette should not have any significant impact on your scars. Smoking cigarettes dehydrates your skin and depletes some essential vitamins that promote skin renewal and healing, so tobacco should be avoided regardless of whether you are undergoing laser scar treatment. However, the amount that you inhaled would have an insignificant effect, if any at all. Try avoiding tobacco for the remainder of your healing process.

Cigarettes and wound healing and Lasers

Cigarettes delay wound healing both with surgery and with lasers.  Smoking also increases fine lines and sun damage.  I don't know how many cigarettes affect this healing but I would definitely try to discontinue your smoking if possible.

Smoking and Fraxel

Smoking definitely impacts the wound healing process. I am not aware of the specific amount of smoke/carcinogen that is needed to impair the healing process, thus I can only recommend complete avoidance of smoking and also 2nd hand smoke. Smoking also increases the rate of aging of the skin (creates fine lines, wrinkles, and thinning of the skin). I hope that you are able to kick the habit!!!

Anne Marie Tremaine, MD
Naples Dermatologic Surgeon

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