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Why You Should Avoid Non-Laser Tattoo Removal Methods

Why You Should Avoid Non-Laser Tattoo

Removal Methods

Life comes with numerous choices, of which some we may come to regret. Your tattoo could be one of them. Whether you have lost love for it or changed your mind about it entirely, having the inks removed is a right that is available to you.

Several tattoo removal treatments now increase the market. But despite the array of options, most of these methods are ineffective, some even leaving the skin in unacceptable states that may or may not be reversible.

At-Home Non-Laser Tattoo Removal Methods

Some may not have the resources for professional treatment or wish to opt for quicker and cheaper methods to remove tattoos. As a result, they turn to DIY options found online in hopes that these will be effective. But you will find out below why these self-treatments are not strong enough to remove pigments, as well as the risks and consequences of doing them.


As the name implies, the salabrasion method means rubbing off the tattoo with a cloth, coarse salt, and a water mixture. It is a hazardous tattoo removal process that inevitably changes your skin’s texture and causes hypopigmentation, which is patches of skin that are lighter than your overall skin tone. The method may leave you with continued extreme pain, scarring, and a tattoo that looks more horrid than ever.

Removal Creams and Ointments

Over-the-counter creams and ointments, even ones sold at your local pharmacy, are worrying methods that work to break down your skin. It attempts to dissolve the tattoo, removing several layers of your skin in the process. You can expect rashes or breakouts, and even burning or scarring.

If you opt for ones sold online, be aware that these are often not FDA-approved for lack of clinical evidence. Side effects are similar to the OTC creams or ointments.


In an attempt to mimic the effects of professional dermabrasion (more about this method below), there is a lack of evidence that sand could remove your tattoo. It will, however, give you cuts, rashes, and possible infection.

Salicylic or Glycolic Acid

Typically seen in skincare products, salicylic acid is a known skin exfoliant for removing dead skin cells. But these only work at the skin’s surface and will not penetrate tattoo pigments.

Meanwhile, glycolic acid is a type of alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA). It is more potent than salicylic acid because it is capable of removing the outer layer of skin. However, it only goes as far as the epidermis and is of no use in tattoo removal.

Homemade Solutions

Some homemade lotion blends and ingredients may improve your skin’s texture and appearance, but these only affect the dermis’ top layer. Its effects do not go deep enough to impact the pigmentation of your tattoo. Common DIY methods include:

  • Lemon Juice

    • While popularly known as a skin-lightening ingredient, lemon juice is highly acidic. Using it on your tattoo could lead to rashes and sensitivity, especially if exposed to the sun.

  • Aloe Vera and Yogurt

    • An online trend is using aloe vera and yogurt to do the trick. These two are prominent skincare ingredients, but there is no evidence of them doing anything beyond treating skin rashes.

Professional Non-Laser Tattoo Removal Methods

Better than the at-home myths lined up above, getting your tattoo removed by professional means will likely get you the results you seek. Still, these options can present side effects like hyperpigmentation, scarring, and infection.


Dermabrasion is another painful method that uses a local anesthetic and a medical-grade equivalent to sandpaper, fine wire brushes, or a similarly rough tool. It aims to remove unwanted dead skin and tattoo off of the surface, supposedly leaving you with glowing, refreshed skin afterward. However, tattoos go far deeper into the dermis, so this effort only results in vain with potential long-term scarring, rough skin, and bleeding.

Acids and Cryotherapy

Those who are willing to stand the pain may be more open to acid treatments or cryotherapy. Both methods kill layers of skin to expose the tattoo in the hopes of ridding it.

Cryotherapy involves inducing frostbite to specific areas of the skin. The destroyed layer is then sanded off until the tattoo is removed. If this sounds scary, that is because it is. It is not only painful but also hazardous, resulting in scars and infections.

There are two ways to go about tattoo removal via acids. The first is applied to the skin, which will gradually kill off the skin’s layers until they reach the deepest layers where the tattoo lies. The second option involves injecting the acids into the skin to break down the ink so it can (forcefully) come to the surface. Then, the skin and tattoo are removed by the resulting scab or blister. Either way, these harm the look and feel of your skin and your overall health, too.

Surgical Excision

This surgery is often used for smaller tattoos, which entails having the doctor take the affected skin off with a scalpel to cut out the tattoo. The cut-up skin is then repaired with stitches, creating an open wound that will not heal naturally, so scarring is unavoidable.

Safe and Effective Alternative

Laser tattoo removal is still the safest, most effective, and most highly recommended method for ridding yourself of the tattoo you no longer want. Over the last 30+ years, the process is more advance with better-refined protocols. It is quick and more precise, targeting each ink color individually.

This process also does the tattoo removal in a way that does not majorly impact or compromise your skin’s structure. Done by the right professional, there are even fewer chances for infection. You will soon see your skin return to its normal coloring with minimal scarring, swelling, or marks.

For expert tattoo removal, look no further than Vanish Clinic and our signature PicoWay laser treatment. It is designed to deliver transformative and powerful tattoo removal (or fading for re-inking) and skin rejuvenation with a flat fee pricing you will not find anywhere else.

Come on over for a free consultation with our trained laser technician and aesthetic nurse so that we can formulate the perfect action plan for you.

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