Do Natural Tattoo Methods Work?
If you’ve been toying with the idea of getting a tattoo removed, you’ve likely come across various DIY methods. Unfortunately, in all our years of removing tattoos, we’ve encountered various clients that opted for at-home and “natural” removal methods — all of which are ineffective and dangerous.
We’ll go through the most common DIY methods and “natural” removal techniques used to remove tattoos so you can see why they’re dangerous and not recommended.
In an earlier blog post, we discussed tattoo removal and various methods. You can check out our full tattoo removal guide. Today we’ll focus on the DIY approaches that are floating around the internet.
DIY Tattoo Removal and Why It’s Dangerous
We’ve been around long enough to understand that some people may be desperate to remove their ink. However, doing it at home or without the supervision of a professional will certainly cause more harm than good.
Common complications from at-home removal methods include infection, permanent scarring, hyperpigmentation, and hypopigmentation.
Tattoos are made to be permanent. The ink settles in the middle layer of skin, called the dermis, which doesn’t shed skin cells like our outer layer (the epidermis). This means any removal method you attempt must penetrate an entire layer of your skin. Have you heard of the following DIY methods to remove tattoos?
- Tattoo Removal Creams: There are tons on the market, and they all promise successful results within a few weeks. However, a majority of these creams bleach the skin and are by no means natural. These chemicals cannot completely penetrate through the layer of skin that holds your tattoo’s ink and in the long run, will just lead to irritated skin and other complications. No tattoo removal creams have been approved by the FDA, and many contain an acid that can lead to permanent scarring.
- Essential Oils: Around the internet people claim that various essential oils can remove or fade tattoos. Unfortunately, your lavender oil won’t do much good. While this isn’t unsafe like the tattoo removal creams mentioned above, it won’t do anything to get rid of your ink.
- Lemon: Another myth is that lemon works as a DIY approach to removing tattoos. While not as dangerous as a removal cream, lemons are a waste of time. The lemon cannot strip layers of your skin to reach the dermal layer where the ink is.
- Salabrasion: This method may be more natural than skin bleaching creams, but it’s very dangerous. In this process, one may use an abrasive device to rub the area with the tattoo vigorously and then cover the wound in salt. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, this method will remove skin and leave you exposed to serious infection and permanent scarring. Pouring salt into a fresh wound is not advisable.
- At-Home Lasers: One of the worst ideas out there, this is extremely dangerous, but we’ve seen it. People create their own lasers. However, we recommend that laser tattoo removal only be done at a clinic by a certified professional who has experience working with lasers and is prepared for any possible side effects.
- Honey: There are people who swear that mixing honey, yogurt, salt, and aloe vera into a paste will effectively remove tattoos. This is untrue, and while not unsafe, at the end of the day you’ll still have your ink.
- DIY Kits: There are plenty of DIY kits online that contain various creams and solutions that claim to be natural, but most are unsafe chemicals that have largely been banned from cosmetic use. In fact, a few years ago, one woman’s horror story made the rounds on the news and was covered by outlets like BBC. You can read about that here.
- Dermabrasion: Another unsafe method that can lead to infection is dermabrasion. This involves sanding down or scraping away layers of the skin. Dermabrasion will most likely cause infection and/or a bad scar.
- Different Types of Acids: There have been people that tried using salicylic or glycolic acid to remove tattoos. However, both of these only work on the epidermis and cannot reach the middle layer of skin where tattoo ink stays.
- Aloe Vera and Yogurt: While this is certainly a natural treatment option, there has never been proof that topical aloe vera can work beyond treating skin rashes. This method won’t harm your skin, but it won’t remove your tattoo either.
How many of these tattoo removal myths have you heard before? We hope you haven’t attempted tattoo removal at home and if you’re looking to get rid of old ink, leave it to the professionals.
The only effective and safe tattoo removal method is professional laser removal done by a certified laser specialist.
Protect Yourself from Unsafe Tattoo Removal
Getting a tattoo requires patience and research, so why wouldn’t you afford the same to the removal process? When it comes to efficient and safe removal, laser tattoo removal is the best option.
Don’t put yourself at risk by trying products bought online or by rigging some device at home, instead opt for a professional and proven approach. Save your time, protect your health, and get the results you’re looking for at MEDermis Laser Clinic.
We utilize the latest and greatest laser technology to remove tattoos while prioritizing the health of our clients effectively.
MEDermis Laser Clinic Can Help!
Your tattoo was made to be permanent so make sure you enlist the help of a pro to guide you through the removal process. We’re proud to have been serving clients in Austin and San Antonio longer than any other clinic in the entire southwest region of the U.S. Contact us today to schedule your FREE consultation!