How do I remove my tattoo? Tattoo Removal Methods

Sure, there are a couple of different tattoo removal methods that have been used.

But most of them do NOT work.

And most of them are incredibly dangerous.

This article will walk you through all the different tattoo removal methods and share if they’re effective and safe. At the end of the article we’ll let you know the only true, safe, and effective tattoo removal technique.

There are Many Different Tattoo Removal Methods

There are wide variety of tattoo removal methods people try when attempting to remove an unwanted tattoo. Some of these tattoo removal methods are effective, others are not.

The tattoo removal method you choose will determine if complete removal is possible, total tattoo removal cost, the length of the process, and the amount of discomfort you experience.

Tattoo Removal Creams

One tattoo removal method people try is a topical cream that is rubbed into the skin. There are several different brands of tattoo removal creams that you can buy over the counter. Chain stores and drug stores usually carry them, or they can be ordered online.

Do they work?

Unfortunately, the marketing does NOT live up to the hype.

Simply put, tattoo removal creams do not work. They’re scams. Even the FDA says so…

The tattoo ink is placed too deep in the dermis for a topical cream to completely remove a tattoo.

In order for the tattoo removal cream to work well, it would need to penetrate the skin all the way down to the bottom layers, where the ink is placed. The skin is a very good protective barrier, and it doesn’t just let things in. The cream just sits on the top layer of skin.


Tattoo removal creams are dangerous. They use nasty chemicals, bleaches, and non-FDA approved ingredients. They have been known to literally melt skin. Yes, melt skin… They also have left incredibly painful burns, nasty blisters, and more.

Bottom line:

Don’t use tattoo removal creams.


Injected Chemicals

Another tattoo removal method is to inject chemicals into the tattoo.

These chemicals could also be placed on the skin instead. Garlic, wine, lime, and even pigeon excrement have been used to try and break up tattoo ink.

Do they work?

Right now, they are definitely not successful in removing tattoos.

That’s not to say that the potential for injecting chemicals is out of the question. In the future, this could be a viable option.

As tattoo removal methods come and go, it is possible that there will be new chemicals developed that will work well when it comes to injecting into the skin in the hope of fading or dissolving a tattoo to the point that it is no longer seen.


Besides not being successful this tattoo removal method can cause serious infections and other health risks. Think about it – injecting pigeon excrement into your skin!? You’re asking for a serious infection or terrible health

Bottom line:

Don’t use chemical injections to try to remove your tattoo. They’re too dangerous.


Salabrasion and Dermabrasion

Abrading the tattooed area is another of the tattoo removal methods people try. Dermabrasion attempts to remove the first few layers of skin to with sandpaper or other rough materials.

Salabrasion involves scrubbing the skin with salt.

Do they work?

Technically, they kind of work. But you must understand that while they “work,” they also are destroying your skin.

In order for dermabrasion to work effectively on tattoos, it often must be done aggressively enough to target the ink that is placed deep in the skin. This leads to scarring, slow recovery and lots of pain.

And while they “work,” there is still pigment left in the skin.


They’re not safe. Dermabrasion will permanently damage your skin, leave nasty scars, and leave you feeling incredible pain. The skin damage caused by these tattoo removal methods is something most people want to avoid.

Bottom line:

It isn’t effective and will permanently damage your skin.


Trichloroacetic Acid (TCA)

Another of the tattoo removal methods that people try is Trichloroacetic Acid or TCA.  Many people use TCA as part of a chemical peel, which has an overall end result similar to dermabrasion. Instead of gently buffing or sanding the skin away, though, TCA is an acid that breaks down the layers of the skin, removing dead skin and surface layers to allow newer skin to appear.

Does it work?

No, TCA isn’t completely effective in removing tattoo ink.

The only way that it would “work” is if the acidic chemicals ate their way through your skin all the way down to the tattoo ink particles. And if it successfully destroyed your skin to remove tattoo ink, then I wouldn’t say that it “works.”


Like Dermabrasion and Salabrasion there is a significant chance of skin damage and an incomplete removal of the tattoo, even after many treatments.

Bottom line:

TCA is unsafe, ineffective, and should be avoided for tattoo removal treatment.



Cryosurgery is also used to attempt to remove a tattoos. This tattoo removal method uses extremely cold temperatures to kill or destroy skin tissue. The theory is that the tattoo will be removed by destroying the tissue that contains the tattoo ink.

Does it work?

No, it doesn’t work. It is difficult to target only the tattooed skin and can lead to damage to a lot of healthy skin.


Cryosurgery is unsafe. This is another one of the tattoo removal methods that causes scarring and other forms of damage to your skin.

Bottom line:

Don’t do cryosurgery. It’s ineffective and dangerous.


Excision and Skin Grafts

Among the most drastic ways to remove a tattoo is excision. This involves cutting the tattoo out and using skin from another area of the body to graft onto the area where the tattoo was removed.

Does it work?

Excision and skin grafts will work to get the tattoo ink out of your skin. But the procedure literally takes a chunk of your skin out of your body. It’s not an efficient, safe, or healthy way to remove a tattoo.


There is a great risk of problems such as improper healing, scars, and infection.

Bottom line:

Most people who need to remove tattoo ink focus on tattoo removal methods that have lower risks of harm and damage. Don’t do it.


Laser Tattoo Removal

Removing a tattoo with a Q-switched laser is the most effective tattoo removal method available today. Laser tattoo removal can deliver great results, at an affordable price with minimal discomfort. All clinics and lasers are not the same, though.

Types of lasers:

There are two main types of lasers that tattoo removal clinics use:

The first is a Q-Switched laser.

The second is a Picosure laser.

Based on the research, Q-Switched lasers are extremely effective, safe, and cost-effective. Picosure lasers, due to the amount of energy that the laser possesses, has a potential risk for damaging your skin. It also isn’t as effective as a Q-Switched laser since it doesn’t use the correct wavelengths to remove different colors of ink.

Does it work?

Yes, laser tattoo removal is highly effective in removing all sizes and colors of tattoos.

The most modern clinics use multiple lasers to safely remove all ink colors on all skin types. Laser tattoo removal technology is evolving.  To minimize the risk of scarring it is important choose a clinic that offers the latest Q-switched laser technology.


When using a Q-Switched laser at a reputable laser tattoo removal clinic with highly-trained staff, then laser tattoo removal is incredibly safe. It may leave temporary side-effects, such as swelling, redness, and tenderness, but laser tattoo removal should not leave any sort of scarring.

Bottom line:

Laser tattoo removal is the only proven way to effectively, safely, and cost-effectively remove your tattoo.


About Fresh Start Laser Clinic

At Fresh Start Laser Tattoo Removal Clinics we use the Quanta EVO to quickly and flawlessly remove tattoos.  Quanta has the best technology available today. We know it works, not only because we did our research, but because we have used it to remove our own tattoos. Our three lasers safely remove all ink colors on all skin types.


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