Is There A Method For All Natural Tattoo Removal At Home That Works?

In some cases getting a tattoo can be a decision made in seconds. However, that timing is different when wanting to say goodbye to that spontaneous ink later down the road. Finding accurate and reliable resources for tattoo removal can be exhausting. Every website claims to know the “answer”, but what information really points you in the right direction? Is there a method for all natural tattoo removal at home that really works? The answer is a bit more complex than a simple yes or no but worry not because we are here to help guide you in the right direction.

There are three common methods out there on the market for tattoo removal. Tattoo removal cream and/or lotion, salabrasion, and laser tattoo removal. The first two techniques are popular “all natural tattoo removal at home” methods, but they really aren’t very natural at all and they definitely are not very effective. All these methods might have some success at removing your tattoo, but which one can you trust to be the most effective and least damaging to your skin?

Tattoo removal cream is not a natural tattoo removal method

Tattoo removal creams on the market, like Profade, claim they work effectively and promise you will see results in a matter of weeks simply by using their product at your leisure when home. What they don’t explain to you is that most creams are just a bleaching of the skin and are probably the least natural tattoo removal method available. The chemicals never completely pierce through to the layer of skin that holds the ink from your tattoo. Since the prime component is a bleach-like substance, expect repetitive use to irritate your skin and possibly cause complications like any other cleaning chemical applied to your skin would do. The main ingredient in these type of products is trichloroacetic acid which can cause very bad burns to your skin leading to scarring. For more information on creams check out our recent blog post, Does Tattoo Removal Cream Work?

Salabrasion may be a natural tattoo removal method but it does more harm than good

Salabrasion tattoo removal claims to use simple ingredients including plain table salt, tap water and an abrasive device such as a “wooden block wrapped in gauze”. In some cases, a local anesthetic is administered before the procedure, since there may be some pain involved. After shaving the area of the tattoo the person performing the procedure will apply the salt mixed with water to the area while using the abrasive gauze surface to vigorously rub the region until it turns a deep blood red. They will then apply an antibiotic ointment and sterile gauze dressing, which is left in place for three days. After this time, the dressing will be removed and the skin, which will be raw, is covered once again with the salt for several hours following more antibiotic ointment to be redressed and sit for another 3 days. Excuse me, what?! Just think about it! You’re basically rubbing off your skin with a salty water gauze which you then put more salt on and let sit. This method is very difficult for us to make sense of, but it is a common all-natural tattoo removal at home technique. We cannot stress enough how pouring salt into an open wound that you rub raw is a horrible idea and will often cause serious scarring or infection.

Laser tattoo removal is a safe, effective, and natural tattoo removal method

Laser tattoo removal is a process that requires patience. There are many variables that affect how quickly and effectively tattoo ink will fade, but laser tattoo removal is the most effective method with the least amount of scarring. Recent technological advancements have resulted in new lasers that break up ink more quickly and completely than older tools or methods. This is where patience comes in, procedures range from only 2-20 minutes but take 6-8 weeks to fully recover before your next treatment. Most tattoos are gone or nearly gone in 3-5 treatments. Each person is evaluated based on skin type, size, and color of their tattoo. Winter is the best time of year for laser tattoo removal because you will need to cover your treated area while it heals and avoid heat or direct sunlight for a few days. It is the spendier option, but having a tattoo removed by a professional is worth every penny. When performed properly, laser tattoo removal leaves little to no scarring and is the best tattoo removal method to date.

Still Thinking Of Doing It At Home?

No matter what you decide, at the end of the day, it is your body. We just want you to understand you have options. Several removal options are considered safe if they are done by a professional or other licensed medical professional. These methods are definitely not cheap but will give you the best results and not cause other issues like scarring or infection. Is there a method for all natural tattoo removal at home that works? The clear answer is no. Laser tattoo removal is your cheapest and most effective option to literally zap away your unwanted tattoo compared to surgical excision or dermabrasion. In fact, most professionals almost never recommend anything else. So forget about ineffective or outdated methods like creams (no matter how many times you use them to dissolve a tattoo, they won’t); excision (removing the whole tattoo as well as the skin beneath it; it leaves prominent scars, not to mention the agony factor); and dermabrasion (removing layers of skin in a process similar to sanding; it’s just not as effective as laser removal and can damage skin). If you want satisfactory results, stop considering taking shortcuts with ineffective “all natural tattoo removal at home” methods and leave your tattoo removal work to the professionals.

Does Tattoo Removal Leave Scars Or Blisters?

The question “Does tattoo removal leave scars or blisters?” is a common one

Whatever reasons may have lead you to start thinking about having a tattoo removed, it’s always best to do your research and ask all the important questions beforehand. One of the most common questions people have before committing to laser tattoo removal is,  “Does tattoo removal leave scars or blisters?”. In recent years, the technology used for laser tattoo removal has advanced significantly and the risk of ending up with tattoo removal scars or blisters has reduced significantly. It’s 2018 and tattoo removal lasers are now faster, cheaper, and more effective than they were in previous years. But, does that mean tattoo removal scars and blisters are no longer something you should worry about at all?

Why should I be be asking “Does tattoo removal leave scars?”

Many people are concerned about scars and blisters resulting from laser tattoo removal because they want their skin to look as natural as possible once the process is said and done. This is not an unreasonable expectation. Nobody wants to pay for a tattoo to be removed only to be left with damaged skin that makes one regret the entire process altogether. The process of tattoo removal is a unique one and even though scarring is rare there are extra steps you can take to ensure your skin looks and heals properly.

Preventing tattoo removal scars

Educate yourself on the laser tattoo removal process

Do research and ask questions before you do anything else. Patients that are informed in all areas of laser tattoo removal are more likely to continue treatment, handle side effects properly and be satisfied with their tattoo removal experience. Expectations should be realistic and you should be encouraged by the tattoo removal process as you learn how to get the best results and ensure your skin remains happy and healthy.

Hire a trained professional

When laser tattoo removal isn’t performed by a trained professional or outdated technology is used, there is a greater risk for tattoo removal scars. Older equipment can more easily heat the skin tissue to the point of causing permanent damage and scarring. Newer lasers shatter ink particles more efficiently with shorter pulses of light, leaving the surrounding skin unharmed. Always seek out a qualified tattoo removal technician who can answer your questions openly and honestly. Make sure to ask your technician the same question, “Does tattoo removal leave scars?”, and be cautious of any answer that doesn’t back up your own research on the topic. It’s even a good idea to seek out a registered nurse or physician who has the experience and expertise to ensure the tattoo removal process doesn’t result in pain or scarring. The right equipment in the hands of a well trained professional will reduce your risk of tattoo removal scars exponentially. A properly trained and experienced technician will want to gather specific information from you during your initial consultation. He or she will then determine your skin type and ink density which will help them adjust the laser settings accordingly for your treatments. Be curious, be cautious, and ask questions until you have little or no doubt in your mind you’ve find the right person for the job.

Follow The Laser Tattoo Removal Aftercare Instructions Religiously

When you first ask your tattoo removal technician “Does tattoo removal leave scars?”, you should expect to be informed of how to significantly reduce the risk of scarring through proper aftercare procedures. Proper laser tattoo removal aftercare is extremely important for preventing laser tattoo removal scars or blisters. These details will be explained to you in detail by your technician. Don’t rush to the finish line. Allow proper healing time in-between treatments. Expect that time to be between 4 and 8 weeks. Patience will return better overall results. The more time you allow your skin to heal, the less chance you’ll have experiencing side effects like scars or blisters.

Stay Hydrated

Staying hydrated by drinking lots of water will help your skin before and after your treatments as well. This will speed up the healing process and your skin will thank you for it later.

Resist The Urge To Pop, Pick or Itch

Blistering is actually normal and is a sign your immune system is doing its job to heal the affected area by removing the ink from your skin, it’s just part of the healing process. Blisters are most likely to appear after your first couple treatments due to ink density, but do not pop them! If they do pop, let the skin flake off on it’s own. Do not pick or itch the skin away. Picking and itching can ultimately lead to  scarring or infection.

Keep It Clean

Your treatment site needs to be kept clean, but that does not mean it needs to be kept covered. With that being said, dirt or grime can interfere with the healing process which could induce skin related side effects. We recommend gently cleaning the area with light, mild or anti-bacterial soap and water a couple times a day. Avoid scented soaps. Scented soaps can irritate and/or inflame the healing skin. We even suggest avoiding high pulsating water around the healing area. Do not soak or swim in baths or hot tubs until the blister or scabs are fully healed. Areas of water like these contain bacteria that can invade the healing process which can lead to infection and scarring.

Stay Out Of The Sun

Remember our blog post about tattoo removal being best during the winter? Stay out of the sun. It’s no secret that the sun and UV light is the enemy of healthy skin. You need to keep your treated areas covered throughout the entire process to avoid burning or related scarring. The sun can also increase blistering and slow down the healing process. Your skin will be sensitive to direct sunlight for several weeks and/or months after your treatments. If you plan on going outside, cover up for the best results. If it’s merely impossible for you to do so then keep at least an SPF 25 sunblock on you at all times to protect the treated area as much as possible. Be aware, most sunblocks contain fragrance which can affect the healing process as well. Look for sunscreen that contains zinc. Wear it even if your clothes cover the treated area but you can still see through it. The sun can penetrate through clothing.

Alcohol And Smoking Are Not Your Friend

Don’t drink too much alcohol. Alcohol can dehydrate your skin and impede the ability of your kidneys and liver to flush out ink. Ensure your vital organs are operating at maximum capacity by drinking more water instead. You’ll feel better and have faster results. Smoking can reduce the success of tattoo removal by as much as 70%. Smoking restricts circulation, lowering the chance that the shattered ink particles will be carried away from the tattoo. This results in slower fading and a longer recovery time.

 

Why Winter Is The Best Time Of Year To Get Laser Tattoo Removal

One of the most common questions we hear from individuals considering tattoo removal is, “What is the best time of year for laser tattoo removal?” You may get responses like “now” or “sooner is better than later”, but in reality, we like to focus on the season. Believe it or not, Winter is widely considered the best time to get most beauty and skin treatments done, including laser tattoo removal.

Generally speaking, it is best to start laser tattoo removal treatments sooner rather than later, and we don’t necessarily recommend waiting 9 months to get started, but Winter is the easiest time of year to recover. Winter gives you a good time frame for healing but also is a time where inflammatory heat is absent. Here are a few more reasons why we think winter is the best time of year to get laser tattoo removal.

Enjoy Your Fun In The Sun

During your first visit, a professional medical laser technician will create a customized treatment plan for your specific skin type, color, and sensitivity level, but they will also tell you the importance of staying out of the sun for several weeks before and after each treatment. Tanned or burned skin can alter your laser tattoo removal results. For example, having a tan or sunburn will change the sensitivity to your skin meaning you will more than likely experience irritation during and after your treatments. Exposure to the sun increases your body’s production of melanin, which also makes your skin more susceptible to burns during laser tattoo removal. Exposure to the sun during the healing process in between treatments can also cause peeling and blistering which can lead to scarring.

There is also a risk of hyperpigmentation which is the permanent removal of skin pigment. In order to prevent the risk of hyperpigmentation, it is important to avoid the sun for several weeks after a treatment to give the skin time to heal.

It is much easier to avoid the sun during the colder months because you are not spending as much time outdoors and your skin is almost completely covered when you are. When you choose to have your tattoo removed in the Winter, you can rest easy knowing you will be able to fully enjoy your summer the way you want to and feel comfortable not forcibly covering up your freshly cleaned skin.

Hairy Doesn’t Have To Be Scary

After any laser tattoo removal session, the treated area of your skin will need time to heal, and it cannot be shaved, waxed, or even plucked. Hair removal methods should be avoided because they can easily open up scabs and create blisters. This is yet another reason why winter is the best time of year for laser tattoo removal. Longer and warmer Winter clothing will easily conceal treated areas, relieving any worries you might have about going “au naturel” while your skin heals. Letting your hair grow out in the winter is not a big deal, it’s just hair after all.

Your Progress Will Be Less Obvious & More Exciting To Reveal

One thing to always keep in mind before starting laser tattoo removal is that it is not just a one-time procedure. Your sessions will be determined by a professional during your initial consultation, but there is typically an 8 to 12-week interval between sessions. During this time, your tattoo will begin fading steadily and may start to look spotty depending on your specific treatment plan, the ink colors in your tattoo, and the laser used during the procedure. Most people will cover up these treated areas anyway especially if it’s in visible areas on their body, but this becomes less of an issue during the Winter months. Winter makes it easier to naturally hide recently removed tattoos and you don’t have to feel obligated to answer questions like, “What’s going on with your tattoo?” It’s like a caterpillar transformation in a way. After Winter you will be shedding your layers to reveal something new.

Laser Tattoo Removal and Melanoma

At The UnTattoo Parlor, we are frequently asked how the process of tattoo removal can either help or hurt screening for Melanoma.

What is Melanoma and how can we get it?

Melanoma is commonly thought of as a pigmented lesion of the skin that can result in disfiguring excisions, metastatic disease, and on occasion death. Many may not know that melanoma can also occur on mucosal surfaces such as the intestines and even in the eyes. Risk factors for melanoma include fair skin, a history of sun exposure (for example severe sunburns in childhood), a family history of melanoma, and rare genetic disorders such as xeroderma pigmentosum. Melanomas can also appear on the palms of the hands or soles of the feet (some may know that Bob Marley died of melanoma that originated on the sole of his foot).

A diagnosis of melanoma can only be made by obtaining tissue that can then be examined by a pathologist. The prognosis or expected long-term outcome of melanoma is directly related to the depth that the malignant melanoma invades the dermis. The deeper the invasion the more likely for metastasis and a poor outcome. As with any malignancy the earlier the diagnosis the better the prognosis.

If I have had or think I might have Melanoma, is it safe to undergo laser tattoo removal?

Individuals diagnosed with Melanoma in the past or think you may have Melanoma it is best to consult with a licensed dermatologist before undergoing laser tattoo removal. The laser used to treat tattoo pigment also has the potential to lighten pigmented lesions which can sometimes indicate the presence of Melanoma. If your doctor cannot see the Melanoma it can be difficult to diagnose in the early stages when the survival rate is highest. If you are at high risk for Melanoma many doctors will recommend that you hold off on getting tattooed. If you already have tattoos, the safest course of action is to keep your tattoos and get regular check-ups from a physician trained in melanoma screening. Dermoscopy and photo mapping are often used to screen and follow patients at risk for melanoma.

Melanoma self-screening Guide

A – Asymmetrical Shape
Melanoma lesions are often irregular, or not symmetrical, in shape. Benign moles are usually symmetrical.

B – Border
Typically, non-cancerous moles have smooth, even borders. Melanoma lesions usually have irregular borders that are difficult to define.

C – Color
The presence of more than one color (blue, black, brown, tan, etc.) or the uneven distribution of color can sometimes be a warning sign of melanoma. Benign moles are usually a single shade of brown or tan.

D – Diameter
Melanoma lesions are often greater than 6 millimeters in diameter (approximately the size of a pencil eraser).

If you exhibit any of the above signs consult a physician right away. See the links below for more information:

http://www.cancer.org/cancer/skincancer-melanoma/index

http://www.skincancer.org/skin-cancer-information/ask-the-experts/are-there-skin-risks-associated-with-tattoos

http://www.nccn.org/patients/guidelines/melanoma/

http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/tattoos-moles-and-melanoma-201308056578