Can a Tattoo Be Removed Naturally?

Getting a tattoo and later regretting it is something that many people have experienced. Fortunately, there are many ways to remove your tattoo. However, laser removal and other similar removal options often cost more than the tattoo itself, which can add to the stress of having a tattoo you don’t like.

But, there are people who are strapped for cash or just don’t want to spend money on laser removal but still want their tattoo gone. And these people are willing to use some of the so-called natural remedies for tattoo removal.

In the following paragraphs, we will look at these “natural tattoo removal” procedures and explain why they are NOT recommended and possibly dangerous to you and your skin’s health. So, without further ado, let’s get started!

Removing Tattoo Naturally and Why You Shouldn’t

Using sandpaper – works, but not really!

Sandpaper is an effective way to remove objects from surfaces that you no longer want. And, of course, the same seems to apply to surfaces like skin and tattoos. Some people have tried sanding their tattoos by going over the tattoo with sandpaper and a paste (often made from aloe vera). And, in some cases (like small non-colored line tattoos), this method seemed to work. But not really!

Namely, sanding your skin, especially the tattooed area, can put you in a risky situation where you can cause extensive scarring, skin damage, and a tattoo or skin infection. The reason lies in the sandpaper itself; it is too abrasive for soft skin. Not to mention the pain; self-sanding is extremely painful; imagine the pain of getting a tattoo and multiply it by 100.

There is also the problem of incomplete tattoo removal. Sandpaper can’t get to all the ink under your skin unless you start sanding your skin, which is definitely not recommended. You’ll end up 100% in an emergency room with a bloody mess.

Applying Aloe Vera – does not work at all!

Many people swear by aloe vera for natural tattoo removal. It is often mixed with yogurt and applied to the tattooed area daily, until the tattoo begins to fade. And while it’s painless and far less dangerous than sandpaper, there’s simply no evidence that it works.

Aloe vera has been used and still is for a natural treatment of dry skin or rashes. And in such cases, it significantly reduces inflammation and soothes the skin. Other than that, there is no research or evidence that aloe vera alone or mixed with other components can contribute to tattoo fading or removal.

On 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 is the salabrasion technique, where you have to rub salt on the tattooed area and rub it in 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 on a wound? It may be one of the worst types of pain you can experience. Now imagine creating a wound on the skin using the salt and letting the salt sit on the wound. You would scream in pain. Moreover, the method does not 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 say that salabrasion is very effective in removing tattoos. But this is a complete lie, because the method is very dangerous and painful, and not at all effective!

Read more: Removing a tattoo with salt: does it work?

Apply lemon juice – use for lemonade only!

Lemon juice seems to be one of the best ingredients for skin care and tattoo removal solutions. But, the effectiveness of lemon juice in such cases is highly questionable. The first reason is that lemon juice is very acidic. When applied directly to the skin, repeatedly, it can cause rashes and increase skin sensitivity, especially on the face. Moreover, it can damage the skin and cause excessive dryness, redness and even severe irritation.

The other reason we are against lemon juice for tattoo removal is because of its reaction to sun exposure. When you treat your tattoo with lemon juice and then expose the treated skin to UV rays, you expect the skin to become very inflamed, to the point of becoming red, blistered and swollen.

Did we mention it doesn’t work at all? Yeah, lemon juice won’t remove your tattoo, it will only damage the skin.

Tattoo Removal Creams – A Scam!

It would be great if tattoo removal creams worked, but they don’t. These creams are designed to make tattoos less visible and promote fading. They are available online and in stores, and are relatively inexpensive compared to other tattoo removal methods.

However, there is no research or evidence that tattoo removal creams work at all. Even though they claim to help the tattoo fade and peel off, anyone with a faint idea what tattoos are will say that is a complete lie. The tattoos, or ink, are placed under the surface layers of the skin where the creams are not accessible unless injected directly.

Not to mention the side effects; Tattoo removal creams can cause rashes, redness, burning sensation, permanent scarring and skin discoloration, inflammation, peeling skin and much more. In some severe cases, these creams have caused swelling of the skin, hives, difficulty breathing, nausea, and anaphylaxis.

Read more: Do tattoo removal creams work? Here’s everything you need to know

So how can you remove a tattoo?

Laser tattoo removal

Laser tattoo removal is probably the most effective tattoo removal method. Sure, it’s expensive, but after you complete your laser removal sessions, your tattoo will no longer exist.

This method is so effective because of the photomechanical effect that uses infrared energy to reach the ink in the skin and dissipate it into the surrounding tissues or skin. Q-switched lasers are the most widely used for laser tattoo removal because they send out pulses or shock waves that heat up and dissolve the ink.

Laser tattoo removal works best on older tattoos, as well as smaller, colorless tattoos. It is not recommended to perform 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 effectively.

People with sunburn or dark skin, as well as 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 $7,000 and $15,000, depending on the tattoo and its location on the body.

Also Read: Best Laser Tattoo Removal Machines to Zap That Tattoo in 2022

Surgical tattoo removal

Surgical tattoo removal is less expensive than laser tattoo removal, but it also has some disadvantages. After surgical removal, there will often be a scar in place of the tattoo. The reason is in the procedure itself; surgical removal is done by cutting out the tattooed skin and stitching the remaining skin back together.

However, scarring can be mitigated with proper aftercare, which is usually provided by the surgeon. It is essential to keep the treated area clean and protected from UV rays as well as heat. Surgical tattoo removal can cost between $150 and $350 for a smaller tattoo. These procedures, however, are not covered by insurance.

cover the tattoo

Your last resort to get rid of the tattoo you don’t like is to cover it up with another tattoo. Compared to the previous two methods, this might be the more economical option. However, this can only work on an older, fully healed tattoo, as well as smaller, simpler tattoos.

If a tattoo is large, colorful and detailed, it will be difficult to cover it with another design. In such a case, the final tattoo will appear much darker and heavier, as well as denser. It can be difficult to distinguish the design or also incorporate it into a new one.

However, if it is a smaller, older, or fading tattoo, see a tattoo artist and check your coverage options.

Also read: Tattooing on a scar: everything you need to know

Final Thoughts

Sometimes it can be tempting to 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.

Don’t go online for advice on natural tattoo removal. It will look tempting, easy and cheap, and you could cause serious skin problems using one of the nefarious methods. You can never know how your skin will react to certain products and ingredients. In addition, there is always a risk of permanent skin damage and infection.

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