There is a worrying trend towards people trying to remove a tattoo at home. Plenty of people are trying to take tattoo removal into their own hands, but at home tattoo removal is always a bad idea. Most people simply dont have the tools, nor do they have the expertise to remove tattoos. Even if tattoo removal is expensive, this doesnt mean that you should try and do it yourself. DIY tattoo removal can put you at much higher risk of infection, and it is easier to botch the process and even end up risking your life.
None of the methods of home tattoo removal are something to attempt yourself, but it is worth exploring common methods so that you know what to avoid, and why they are not acceptable methods to attempt on yourself or on a friend as a form of at home tattoo removal.
This is a very dangerous and old-fashioned technique where you remove your epidermis and rub salt in the area. The method does not work, and it is unbelievably painful, it also causes a lot of scarring.
Glycolic acid is a type of alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) that is incredibly abrasive and potent and can remove huge sections of skin. Because it only works on epidermis, it doesnt actually get to the ink and remove the tattoo itself. Like most of these hack home tattoo removal methods, glycolic acid hurts a lot. It also isnt effective.
Tattoo removal creams are usually scam products. Not only is there very little evidence of the fact that they work, but they can also carry significant risk. A lot of these carry a huge risk as you might not know what is in them and whether or not there is a chance of burning or strong reactions. Putting potentially highly acidic products on your skin is not a good idea.
As well as carrying a risk, they just dont work.
This acid is used in a lot of skincare products, but it doesnt work on tattoo pigments. It can only remove the dead skin at the surface.
Why is this something to avoid at all costs? We explore below.
Its possible that the acidic products and other abrasive materials put in DIY tattoo removal products could cause an allergic reaction. If you have specific allergies then your tattoo removal technique could even be life-threatening.
Most of the DIY methods will cause some sort of scarring. The more brutal methods that remove the skin can scar, but so can the chemicals used on the area.
If you are performing DIY tattoo removal at home then there is a higher risk of infection. You may not have the required tools to do any of the methods safely, and any bacteria getting into a wound or penetrating your skin can cause an infection. This might need hospital treatment or antibiotics, so if you are trying to save some money then this could have the opposite effect.
The safest way to remove a tattoo is to go to a professional tattoo artist. Though there are multiple methods, laser removal has become very popular due to the fact that it is effective and relatively free of pain. Dermabrasion and even surgical removal can be safe when done by professionals, but theyre painful methods.
Technically, it is possible to remove a tattoo at home, but the risks are far too high for it to be worth doing. The only real reason that you will have to try and remove a tattoo at home is that you want to save money. Ironically, many people end up then having to have treatment for their botched home tattoo removal. It costs more in the long run.
The Skin Cancer Foundation has carried out studies that show that safe laser tattoo removal doesnt cause skin cancer. It can make the skin more sensitive to the suns rays, so make sure you keep using sunscreen.
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