“No Regrets” is a popular mantra these days, but unfortunately it’s just not realistic. Many of us make decisions that later make us step back and say “what was I thinking?” Sometimes the mark of that decision remains imprinted on our bodies in the form of a tattoo.
You could be a career woman in her 40s that has simply decided the tattoo that looked so great in your 20s just doesn’t fit your personality any more. Or maybe you’ve recently divorced and are looking to remove the tattooed wedding ring that adorns your ring finger. Perhaps a couple of drinks too many left you and your buddies with matching star wrist tattoos that might look less than professional during your staff meetings. No matter the reason though, options for removing tattoos do exist, but care needs to be taken when exploring them.
A quick Google search will result in literally millions of results for do-it yourself tattoo removal. However, those remedies that are touted as “effective and safe” are generally anything but and in many cases, these DIY methods have actually proven to be extremely dangerous. Thankfully, FDA-approved laser treatment procedures exist that can remove unwanted tattoos carefully, safely and effectively.
So, if you are contemplating DIY tattoo removal beware of the following “do it yourself” methods:
At Skin Renew, we’ve seen the effects of this DiY tattoo removal method and the damage it causes is heartbreaking. The salt scrub removal works by attempting to remove the layers of the skin to reach the tattoo. The idea is that the abrasion process will gradually wear through the epidermis (outer layer of skin) and down into the dermis (where the tattoo ink actually lies), allowing access and removal of the ink with scrubbing. In fact, you’re much more likely to end up with scars and infection than a clean removal of the tattoo ink, and should avoid this method at all costs.
Some people with small tattoos will actually try out of desperation to remove them by cutting the top layers of the skin off. It’s just too disgusting to show an image. As with the salt scrub, this is ignoring the fact that the tattoo ink is embedded deep within the dermis. Cutting or scraping off the top layers of your skin just results in a giant scar, and you’ll risk bleeding, infection and nerve damage.
Many people try to remove their tattoos by applying a chemical cream to the region. However, superficial or even deep chemical creams will not work for tattoo removal. You might sense a theme here, but the primary outcome of many of these treatments is permanent damage and scarring of the skin as well as making the area much more susceptible to local infection.
One of the more extreme methods is where people have tried to burn off their tattoo with a lighter. The idea is that the tattoo will turn into a scar and scab off. Nothing could be further from the truth. Since tattoo ink is embedded deep within the dermis, a scar will form on top, but the ink will still be visible. This is highly ill advised, as you’ll risk scarring, infection, and nerve damage.
Not only are these DIY tattoo removal methods ineffective and dangerous but also ignore the basic tenet of the tattoo – namely that it’s permanence is based on embedding the ink deeply within the dermis where it isn’t changed by external factors acting on the outer layers of the skin. Our laser tattoo removal technology has been designed with this as the primary focus, aimed to safely remove even the most stubborn tattoos. It works by targeting pigment colors in the skin’s dermis, the layer of skin between the epidermis and subcutaneous tissues. Light beams radiated by the laser are absorbed by tattoo pigments, which then fragment. The body then absorbs and eliminates these pigment fragments. See our infographic.