- 1 DIY tattoo removal methods
- 2 Other tattoo removal methods
- 3 After tattoo removal
- 4 Conclusion
No matter how you got a tattoo – either after careful planning or due to a silly bet with your friends, it’s still permanently stuck there on your skin. So if later on, you wanted to get rid of it, then it can become a huge problem. This is because the various ways to get it removed are uncomfortable to go through. With all that being said, there are some home tattoo removal methods which can be done quite easily. It is always safe to start with natural methods which are cheaper and might not cause that much(or any) damage.
DIY tattoo removal methods
There are some homemade do-it-yourself options:
Lemon and Honey
If you read about the laser and pulsing light methods to remove tattoos, coming down to lemon and honey may seem like it can be ineffectual. But you should keep in mind that lemon is a very natural bleaching agent and honey, on the other hand, is known for its skin regenerative as well as nourishing properties. This is the solution many people go for. If you too want to try this out then mix just one teaspoon of lemon along with one spoon of honey and then apply this on your tattoo region daily using a cotton pad. While this won’t get it off but people have said that their tattoo has faded to a certain extent. So if you are fine with that then using this painless method which will not harm your skin or nerves will be the best for you.
Yogurt, Aloe Vera and Honey
Honey in itself is a natural product which can help you remove tattoos at home, and this works best for light coloured or tiny tattoos. We discussed pairing it with lemon in the above method, but you can also mix two teaspoons of honey with aloe vera, yogurt, salt, and honey together to get a thick paste. Now rub this over the tattooed skin and then wash it off with warm water after soaking it for half an hour or so.
Sand Powder and Grinding Stones
Sand powder and grinding stones are an effective way to get rid of tattoos permanently. You will have to blend the mixture well and then add aloe vera gel to it to make a thick paste. Now rub this paste on the tattooed skin to fade them away. You should use it daily until it goes away permanently. It works by detaching the skin cells linked with the ink of the tattoos.
Salabrasion is an effective method which requires salt to scrub down the ink. You will need to use salt and then rub it on the ink. As you can imagine, several such sessions will be needed to see any positive results. So it is advisable you try to do it daily.
Hydrogen peroxide is also a pretty common household item, and it can be used to remove permanent tattoos as well. It lightens the pigmentation or ink to a certain extent. But before you use hydrogen peroxide, you will have to scrub the tattooed area with salt. Moreover, this technique is popular for its antiseptic properties, and as such it prevents infections which are so common in the surgical removal techniques.
Aloe Vera is already included in a lot of the above processes. It is great to use if you have very super sensitive skin and other removal options are too painful for you. You have to mix fresh aloe vera gel with yogurt and then apply this on your skin daily to see results. This can work with both large and small tattoos.
Apple Cider Vinegar
This is a product which works well for small tattoos. You will have to dab a little cotton ball soaked in Apple cider vinegar daily till you see it fading. But before you rub in this, you will have to rub your tattoo region with sandpaper for the Apple cider vinegar to work. This sanding will help the Apple cider vinegar get more effectively absorbed in the area. Yes, it is a slow and also painful method, but many have said that they have seen results. But most of all it isn’t that painful when compared to the surgical or laser removal options.
Tattoo Removal Creams
If you have a light tattoo or a tattoo over a small region, then these tattoo removal creams can work. The cream will work by targeting the topmost layer of the skin with the chemical contents present within. Keep in mind that sometimes it won’t get the whole tattoo out completely. But be warned that the cream won’t work with large ones and you will instead be left with wasted time and probably skin irritation.
Another way to get your tattoo to fade is by using pumice stones to rub away your skin. You can even add salicylic acid on it to speed up the process of getting the upper layer of skin off. The idea here is to get the old skin off and promote the growth of new skin to cover it up.
This isn’t a tattoo removal method per se, but depending on the size and location of your tattoo you can apply makeup on it to cover it up. Of course, if it’s a large area, then applying make up on it every day can be a nuisance. But you can use it if the tattoo is small and you don’t want to go through the pain of scabbing and such which comes with other procedures.
Cover up tattoo
If you don’t like the tattoo which you currently have and are thinking of removing it to get another one in its place, then a cover-up tattoo will work better. You also don’t have to suffer through unnecessary pain and suffering with this. Talk to your tattoo artist as they will be able to tell you what design will work best for concealing it. Talented artists will come up with really amazing and creative concepts so that it won’t even look like there is a tattoo underneath.
Another method which pops up after a cursory internet search is of saltwater scrub. It works like dermabrasion, and it involves removing the skin layers to reach the tattoo. So the idea is that this abrasion process will gradually go through the epidermis which is the outer layer of the skin to reach into the dermis where the ink lies. But as one can imagine the chances of infections and scarring are also here. Along with this, you won’t be able to reach the pigment fully like this. As such the most you all end up with is a faded tattoo.
Other tattoo removal methods
Here are some of other the most popular methods of removing tattoos. These methods are expensive, and not all of us always have the money to shell out to get it removed. Moreover, all these methods require you to make appointments, and you will also have to follow up on the healing procedures as well:
This is the first kind of removal method which you would have heard of. As such it’s a really popular method too. In here the laser removes the tattoo by breaking up the pigment colors of the ink with a very high-intensity light beam. If you only have black ink on the tattoo, then you will be lucky as black can absorb all forms of laser wavelengths. As such, it will be the easiest color to treat. Regarding other colors, those can be treated as well with the help of selected lasers depending on the color of the pigment. But laser treatment also comes with side effects as discussed above, and as such, they should be one of the last options to adopt. There are two forms of lasers which are used for laser removal process:
Passive Laser Process
This isn’t a full proof tattoo removal method just because it includes the word laser in it. This is just a cheaper way to get rid of the tattoo, but it won’t get removed fully. Instead, it will just partially fade out. So you don’t get to save money as you will have to do more treatments to get it off. This technique is generally offered by tattoo salons and even beauty clinics. So before you go into this, it’s advisable that you know the difference between the kind of lasers used in this and the active Q-switched, medical lasers so that you don’t get taken advantage of.
Active Laser Process
This is an effective method and can remove tattoos of almost every color. This is because there are three different types of lasers- called Alexandrite, Ruby and Nd: YAG. Each of them targets a different range in the color spectrum. This Active Laser technique is done through an Active Q-Switched (AQS) laser. This treatment will require many sittings although full healing will take anything from half a year to a full one.
Some people who have small tattoos on their skin trying to get rid of them by removing the top layer of the skin. This won’t work except for some amateur tattoos where the ink isn’t deeply embedded within the dermis. As such you won’t achieve anything by this process except pain, bleeding and scarring with possible nerve damage and infection.
This process works by applying a chemical to the skin where the tattoo is. But the chances of this working isn’t high, and you won’t be getting a complete removal with this process. Instead, you will be left with an incomplete tattoo, scars and skin irritation which can lead to infection and severe damages.
It might horrify you, but many ill-informed people attempt to remove their tattoos by burning. Especially if their tattoos are small. They use a blow torch or lighter to burn the skin where it is located in hopes that the skin will scar and then scab off. It won’t work because no one can burn straight to the portion of the dermis where the ink is located. So what will happen is that a scar will form, but the tattoo will still be visible. As such you will just be left with a scar, infection and possible nerve damage apart from an intact tattoo.
Intense Pulsed Light Therapy
In here a very broad spectrum of light is used which removes the epidermis that is the top later of the skin. It breaks down the pigments present in the tattoo into very small components which are then absorbed in the bloodstream and removed from the site. Over time the skin of the affected area will heal by the process of regeneration. This technique is suitable for large tattoos as it emits huge light pulses. This technique can even reduce the number of appointments needed to get the tattoo removed.
This method isn’t very much heard of in tattoo circles because it is most often used to get rid of warts and skin cancers. But it is also effective when it comes to tattoo removal. In this technique, the tattoo region gets exposed to extremely cold temperature by spraying it with a freezing agent. For this liquid nitrogen is the thing which is most commonly used. Then the area gets sanded through the process of dermabrasion to remove the top layers of the skin. This is usually done under general anesthesia since as one can imagine- it’s too painful to be done normally. But this process isn’t very effective when it comes to yellow and green pigments. Apart from this, it is advisable that people with sensitive skin or with skin that scars easily don’t try this. The biggest drawback of this process is the fact that it can damage the skin tissue as well along with the tattooed area. But in terms of money, it is less expensive than laser removal, but it still won’t be covered by an insurance policy.
In here, the skin is abraded using a wheel or brush at very high speed. So the skin gets sanded down to the ink-stained part of it. If you feel pain after reading this, then don’t worry, as the area is numbed using a general anesthetic. Also, like with most removal procedures, this also requires multiple sessions. As always, there is a high risk of infection and scarring when it comes to this method too.
If you decide to choose one of the above methods you will have to treat your skin accordingly afterward. Remember, not all of them are safe(like burning) and effective. Before making decisions always ask a doctor or professional tattoo maker what should be the right step to do.
After tattoo removal
When you will be going through the tattoo removal process, and even after it, you will notice that there will be bruising, swelling, scarring, and damage. So now it’s time to think about the aftercare so that you can speed up the healing process. Here’s what you can do to treat the wound:
If you have opted for a surgical procedure then after the first few days of the treatment, you will have to keep the area bandaged. Use sterile gauze which should be placed in a layer of healing ointment. After three days, keep the area clean and dry. Use a mild soap to clean and then pat it dry.
Apply cool compresses to reduce inflammation and discomfort.
Don’t pick any scabs
Scabs will inevitably form but don’t pick them. Picking them will increase the chances of scarring and that what you should avoid. Apart from this don’t carry out activities like shaving in the treated area that might cause scabs to get removed.
You can shower a couple of hours after the treatment, but try to avoid high water pressure hitting the treated region. Also, don’t soak the treated area until all blisters or scabs have healed.
Avoid sun exposure
You should avoid the sun as much as you can during the removal process as it can make the area more sensitive. But on top of this, it can decrease the effectiveness of the treatment as well. It might be difficult to keep certain areas out of the sun – like your arms, hands and neck area, but what matters is that you keep the affected area out of the sun’s reach. Make sure to avoid exposure for a week after applying the homemade remedies and for about two weeks after going for laser surgery.
Get plenty of rest because sleep will help in the recovery process. When you get to rest and go to sleep, your body begins its repair process and fights off bacteria as well as a possible potential infection. Lack of sleep will make you feel lethargic and as such your immune system can break down too
A healthy diet and Lots of water
What you consume during the recovery period also matters. So to boost your immune system and help your body in flushing out the toxins (the broken down ink) you should drink plenty of water. You need to keep yourself hydrated and also eat a healthy diet, especially those products which are high in antioxidants.
Keep your appointments
You want to get your tattoo off faster, and for that, you need to follow the recommended appointment schedule. Following a regular schedule will allow your time to heal properly and flush out the toxins. Consistency is important.
Once you have settled on your reason for removing the tattoo and have determined that it is what you want, there are some things which you have to do. It is very important that you consider all your options and research through the methods available as well as the method you are ultimately choosing to go with. This is necessary especially if you don’t want to waste your time on procedures which might not even be useful and on top of that can even harm your health and skin. Also, make sure that you follow the post-removal care schedule to ensure you don’t contract any infections or additional damage.