Tattoo Removal

Looking for How to Remove a Tattoo at Home? Don’t

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Published: 09.26.2023
Updated: 11.01.2023
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Marcus Smurda, DPT

A tattoo should be something you proudly sport. So if you are buying clothes that conceal your ink rather than show it off, it might be time to say goodbye to that tattoo. 


YouTube and TikTok are full of videos that test at-home tattoo removal services. People have tried everything from sand to hydrogen peroxide to get rid of regretted ink. Unfortunately, while these at-home tattoo removal methods are cheap to try, the results are underwhelming. Worse, they can cause irreparable harm to your skin.


There are safe and effective ways to erase unwanted ink. But, unfortunately, these home removal methods aren’t it!

Is It Possible to Remove a Tattoo at Home?

There is no way to remove a tattoo at home. Tattoo ink is inserted deep into the second layer of skin called the dermis. In order to remove a tattoo, the ink molecules need to be broken apart into tiny, digestible particles. Home tattoo removal methods are ineffective because they are not powerful enough to penetrate the deep layers of skin where ink is trapped. 


Is at-home tattoo removal safe? Definitely not. There is a high probability that your at-home tattoo removal will end with a trip to the doctor. Not only are natural tattoo removal methods painful, but they also put you at risk for skin damage, scarring, and infections. 

Natural Tattoo Removal Methods You Should Avoid

If you are stuck with an embarrassing or ugly tattoo, it’s normal to want to remove it immediately. But let’s face it – a poor decision is what got you there in the first place. Whether it was a lousy tattoo artist, a drunken mistake, or a misguided display of love, you weren’t using the best judgment when getting that unwanted ink. So don’t make a second mistake by attempting to remove your tattoo at home.


There are thousands of videos with captions offering fast and cheap ways to remove a tattoo “naturally.” Don’t fall for these viral posts. People have tried everything from lemon juice to sandpaper to get rid of tattoos, and none of them work. Most at-home tattoo removal methods are more likely to give you an infection than make permanent ink disappear. 

Lemon Juice

There are a lot of things you can do with lemon juice. But removing your tattoo at home is not one of them. While the acidic properties of lemon make for a great household cleanser, this pantry staple should be kept far away from your skin. 


Side effects of removing a tattoo at home with lemon juice include:

  • Skin discoloration/hyperpigmentation
  • Burns or rashes
  • Infection
  • Extreme risk of sunburn

So while lemon might be strong enough to blast away the grime on your bathroom faucets, it isn’t powerful enough to break down tattoo ink. Its acids won’t reach the second layer of skin. Instead, you will just create painful irritation and surface burns. 

Aloe Vera

Aloe has been used as an all-natural healing ointment for centuries. This powerful plant effectively cures sunburn, rashes, and other skin irritations. Aloe is also commonly found in anti-aging skin care and moisturizers.


While aloe vera has a long list of benefits, tattoo removal is unfortunately not one of them. If anything, frequent applications of aloe might make your tattoo look more prominent. Its moisturizing properties can make ink pop by soothing any other imperfections in the skin. 

Unlike other at-home tattoo removal methods, aloe vera has no side effects. So while it won’t get rid of unwanted ink, it won’t harm your skin either. 

Hydrogen Peroxide

There are several theories that try to rationalize hydrogen peroxide as a tattoo removal method. The first is based on hydrogen peroxide’s effect on wounds. This antiseptic is commonly used to clean dirt and grime from cuts. When the peroxide mixes with your skin and blood, it bubbles up and pushes debris out. Unfortunately, this process isn’t replicated with tattoo ink.


Ink particles are embedded too deep into the skin for hydrogen peroxide to push out. In addition, its cleaning effects only work on significant wounds. Tattoos do not cause enough damage to allow hydrogen peroxide to seep in. 


The second theory relies on hydrogen peroxide’s lightening properties. While it is strong enough to add some natural highlights to your hair, the peroxide will not bleach a tattoo away. Consistent use may lighten the pigment of skin, but it is not potent enough to reach the dermis and lighten a tattoo. 


The risks associated with using hydrogen peroxide as a tattoo remover may not be as extreme as lemon juice or salabrasion, but they are enough to deter DIY enthusiasts. Removing tattoos at home with hydrogen peroxide will cause the following:

  • Skin irritation
  • Discoloration


Yes, Salabrasion is as scary as it sounds. It involves hacking through the top layer of skin and rubbing salt into the wound. This process attempts to swell the dermis and encourage the ink to rise to the surface. When a scab forms, the ink will be part of the dead skin. Therefore, when the scab falls off, part of the tattoo will go with it.


Not only is salabrasion excruciatingly painful, but it is also terribly ineffective. It is impossible to draw out all the ink that is held deep within the skin. Of all the DIY tattoo removal methods, salabrasion puts you at risk for the most health complications.


Salabrasion is a dangerous way to remove a tattoo at home and will lead to the following:

  • Permanent scarring
  • Discoloration 
  • Inflammation
  • Infection
  • Open wounds and abscesses 

Sand Abrasion

Send abrasion requires a pumice stone or sandpaper. Either material is used to scrub away at the skin until the top layers are raw. The process is meant to expose the deeper layers of skin that Tattoo Inc. resides in. However, sand abrasion is a painful and intrusive technique that won’t result in tattoo removal. Instead, you’ll be left with a lot of skin damage.


Sand abrasion is a terrible home tattoo removal method. This process will cause lasting damage, including:

  • Permanent scarring
  • Raised skin/texturing
  • Inflammation and rashes
  • Infection

Are Tattoo Removal Creams Effective?

While it might be tempting to pick up a tube of tattoo removal cream from the drugstore, don’t! These over-the-counter appointments contain various harmful chemicals that cause irreparable skin damage.


Most tattoo removal creams boast appealing taglines that ensure your tattoo will quickly vanish. However, the results from these ointments cause more problems than good. At best, you will notice minor fading of unwanted ink. However, tattoo removal creams don’t penetrate deep enough into the skin to fully get rid of a tattoo.


There is a long list of dangerous side effects associated with the use of tattoo and removal creams, including:

  • Itching and scabbing.
  • Bruising
  • Permanent skin discoloration and hyperpigmentation
  • Chemical burns
  • Allergic reactions
  • Significant scarring
  • Infection

The risks tattoo removal creams pose far outweigh their benefits. While it may make your ink slightly less noticeable, your unwanted tattoo will still be visible. In addition, its long list of ingredients puts you at risk for allergic reactions. While these may present as itchy skin or hives, there is always the chance of more life-threatening reactions like anaphylaxis. In conclusion, tattoo removal creams are equally dangerous as any other DIY tattoo removal method.

Is At-Home Laser Tattoo Removal Safe?

Some things are best left to the professionals. Laser tattoo removal is one of them!


At-home laser devices are not only dangerous, but they also are less effective than professional laser tattoo removal machines. Nevertheless, many people who are searching for how to get rid of a tattoo at home will come across an ad for a laser pen or at-home device. 


At-home tattoo removal lasers are relatively inexpensive when compared to professional clinics. However, there is a reason that professional laser removal services come with a hefty price tag. Removing a tattoo safely with powerful laser beams requires significant training. The goal of these treatments is to break up ink molecules in the dermis. However over-application of lasers to a targeted area of the skin will cause irreversible damage.


Without the expert training accompanying these at-home later devices, results are less than desirable. Not only will you struggle to erase permanent ink fully, but you will also end up in a worse situation than you started. At-home laser treatments are notorious for causing:

  • Blistering
  • Burns
  • Discoloration
  • Permanent scarring
  • Damage skin barriers
  • Infection

Removing a tattoo is not a practice to take lightly. However, using at-home laser devices is irresponsible and super risky. Instead of wasting money on a dangerous piece of equipment, save those funds to use towards professional services.

Ensure Safe and Successful Tattoo Removal With Removery Services

Laser tattoo removal is the only FDA-approved method to get rid of a tattoo. Not only are these treatments effective and much less painful than at-home methods, but professional lasers are also safe. As long as the recommended aftercare procedures are followed, the only side effect of professional laser removal is blank skin!


Lasers work by penetrating deep into the skin. The beams blast large ink molecules into super-small particles. Your body naturally absorbs the destroyed ink into your bloodstream. The particles pass through like any other waste. As a result, you can see significant results with only a few laser removal sessions. In addition, treatments are short, and you won’t feel more than a few stings. 

Removery is the leading professional tattoo removal service provider in the United States. With clinics across the nation, their clinics are easily accessible. So whether you are looking for tattoo removal in NYC or Chicago, a Removery facility should be your first call! Their team of knowledgeable staff is trained in the art of laser tattoo removals. Removery ensures reliable and predictable results. Call today to start the consultation process. Return your skin to a blank canvas with laser tattoo removal from Removery!


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