Getting a tattoo and regretting it later is a thing many people have experienced. Luckily there are numerous ways your tattoo can be removed. However, laser removal and other similar removal options often cost more than the tattoo itself, so that can add to the stress of having a tattoo you don’t like.
But, there are people who are either short with the money or simply don’t want to spend the money on laser removal but still want their tattoo gone. And these people are willing to utilize some of the so-called natural remedies for tattoo removal.
In the following paragraphs, we’ll take a look at these ‘natural tattoo removal’ procedures and explain why they are NOT recommended and eventually dangerous for you and your skin health. So, without further ado, let’s get started!
Removing Tattoo Naturally and Reasons You Shouldn’t Do It
Using Sand Paper – Works, But Not Really!
Sandpaper is an efficient way to remove things from surfaces that you don’t want anymore. And, sure enough, the same seems to apply to surfaces like skin and tattoos. Some people have tried sandpapering their tattoos by going over the tattoo using sandpaper and a paste (often made from aloe vera). And, in some cases (like small, uncolored, linework tattoos), this method seemed to work. But, not really!
Namely, sandpapering your skin, especially the tattooed area can get you into a risky situation where you can cause extensive scarring, skin damage, and tattoo or skin infection. The reason lies in the sandpaper itself; it is too abrasive for the soft skin. Not to mention the pain; sandpapering yourself is extremely painful; imagine the pain of getting a tattoo and multiply it by 100.
There is also the issue of incomplete tattoo removal. Sandpaper cannot reach all the ink beneath the skin unless you start sandpapering your skin away, which is surely not recommended. You will 100% end up in an ER with a bloody mess.
Applying Aloe Vera – Doesn’t Work, At All!
Many people swear on aloe vera for natural tattoo removal. It is often mixed with yogurt and applied to the tattooed area daily, until the tattoo starts fading away. And even though painless and significantly less dangerous than sandpaper, there is simply no proof this works.
Aloe vera has been used and still is, for a natural treatment for dry skin or skin rashes. And in such cases, it significantly reduces inflammation and calms the skin down. Other than that, there is no research nor proof that aloe vera alone or mixed with other components can contribute to tattoo fading or removal.
Turning to Salabrasion – Painful, and Doesn’t Work!
Well, some people, instead of sandpaper, turn to salt for ‘natural’ tattoo removal. We like to call this method the ‘natural skin removal method’. The reason for this lies in the salabrasion technique, where you have to rub salt onto the tattooed area and rub it until it penetrates the skin and reaches the ink.
Now, as you can imagine, this can be extremely painful and dangerous. First of all; have you ever accidentally put salt onto a wound? It might be one of the worst types of pain you can ever experience. Now, imagine creating a wound on the skin using the salt and letting the salt sit on the wound. You’d be screaming in pain. Plus, the method doesn’t work! Not to mention the risk of scarring, permanent skin damage, and infection.
So, don’t believe everything you read on the Internet. People will go on and tell that salabrasion is highly effective for tattoo removal. But, that is a complete lie, since the method is highly dangerous and painful, as well as not effective at all!
Read More: Removing a Tattoo With Salt: Does It Work?
Applying Lemon Juice – Only Use for a Lemonade!
Lemon juice seems to be one of the top ingredients for home remedy skincare and tattoo removal solutions. But, the effectiveness of lemon juice in such cases is highly questionable. The first reason for that lies in the fact that lemon juice is highly acidic. When applied directly onto the skin, repeatedly, it can cause rashes and increase skin sensitivity, especially on the face. Furthermore, it can damage the skin and cause excessive dryness, redness, and even serious irritation.
The other reason we’re against lemon juice for tattoo removal lies in its reaction to sun exposure. When you treat your tattoo with lemon juice, and later expose the treated skin to UV rays, you expect the skin to become highly inflamed, to the point where it is red, blistering, and swelling.
Did we mention that this also doesn’t work, at all? Yeah, lemon juice won’t remove your tattoo, but only damage the skin.
Tattoo Removal Creams – A Scam!
It would be great if tattoo removal creams workes, but they don’t. These creams are designed to make the tattoos less noticeable and to promote their fading. They’re available online and in stores, and are relatively cheap, compared to other tattoo removal methods.
However, there is no research nor proof that tattoo removal creams work at all. Even though they claim to help the tattoo fade and peel away, anyone who has a faint idea of what tattoos are will say that this is a complete lie. Tattoos, or the ink, are placed beneath the surface skin layers, where creams aren’t possible to reach unless injected directly.
Not to mention the side effects; tattoo removal creams can cause skin rashes, redness, burning sensation, permanent scarring and skin discoloration, inflammation, peeling of the skin, and much more. In some serious cases, these creams caused skin swelling, hives, breathing difficulties, nausea, and anaphylaxis.
So, How Can You Remove a Tattoo?
Laser Tattoo Removal
Laser tattoo removal is probably the most effective tattoo removal method. Sure, it is expensive, but after you complete your laser removal sessions, your tattoo won’t exist anymore.
This method is so effective thanks to the photomechanical effect which uses infrared energy to reach the ink in the skin and dissipate it into the surrounding tissue or skin. Q-switched lasers are the most prominent ones for laser tattoo removal since they send pulse or shock waves that heat and dissolve the ink.
Laser tattoo removal works best on older tattoos, as well as smaller and color-free tattoos. It is not recommended to get a laser tattoo removal on a fresh, unhealed tattoo, as well as large, colored tattoos. It can take up to 20 laser removal sessions to get rid of a tattoo efficiently.
People with sunburnt or dark skin, as well as with eczema or skin condition should not get laser tattoo removal.
For an average laser tattoo removal of 15 to 20 sessions, you can expect to pay between $7000 and $15,000, depending on the tattoo and its location on the body.
Surgical Tattoo Removal
Surgical tattoo removal is cheaper than laser removal, but it does carry certain downsides as well. After surgical removal, there will often be a scar in place of the tattoo. The reason for this lies in the procedure itself; surgical removal is done by cutting out the tattooed skin and stitching back the remaining skin.
However, the scarring can be mitigated by proper aftercare, which is usually provided by the surgeon. It is essential to keep the treated area clean and hidden from UV rays as well as heat. Surgical tattoo removal can cost anywhere between $150 and $350 for a smaller tattoo. Such procedures, however, are not covered by insurance.
Covering the Tattoo
Your last resort for getting rid of the tattoo you don’t like is covering it with another tattoo. Compared to the previous two methods, this might be the most budget-friendly option. However, this can only work on an older, fully healed tattoo, as well as in smaller, simpler tattoos.
If a tattoo is large, colored, and detailed, it will be hard to cover it with another design. In such a case, the final tattoo will appear much darker and heavier, as well a denser. It might be hard to distinguish the design or incorporate it into a new one as well.
However, if it’s a smaller, older, or fading tattoo that you’d like gone, consult with a specialized tattoo artist and check your covering possibilities.
It can be tempting to sometimes just take matters into your own hands. But, when it comes to your body and your health, such an approach is never the solution; only an addition to the problem. So, if you want a tattoo gone, talk to a professional and see what your options are.
Do not go to the Internet for advice on natural tattoo removal. It will seem tempting, easy, and cheap, and you might cause some serious skin issues by utilizing any of the infamous methods. You can never know how your skin will react to certain products and ingredients. Plus, there is always the risk of permanent skin damage and infection.