Options for Tattoo Removal at Home ?

Options for Tattoo Removal at Home

Some people who experience tattoo regret may try to take tattoo removal into their own hands and try to remove their tattoo at home.

This is rarely a good idea, as there are many risks involved with trying to remove a tattoo at home. These methods, though low in cost, are ineffective and cause more damage to the skin.

Throughout Dr. Ink Eraser’s 20+ years of removing tattoos, we’ve seen far too many patients who’ve attempted at-home tattoo removal methods that discolored or scarred their skin, which only makes it more difficult for us to remove the tattoos.

Don’t attempt any of these methods at home!

At-home tattoo removal methods

Tattoo removal cream

Woman applies tattoo removal cream on her hand

Tattoo removal cream can be purchased as an over the counter treatment. These removal creams lighten the skin by bleaching or sometimes even burning the top layer of your skin.

The problem with these creams is that they damage the skin with chemical burns or scarring, and often don’t remove the tattoo. It’s also common for people to develop an allergic reaction called contact dermatitis.

Lemon juice

Lemon halves prepared to be squeezed to make lemon juice

Some proponents of at-home tattoo removal recommend squeezing lemon juice over the tattoo. The acidity of lemon juice can slightly whiten the skin. But lemon juice (and various mixes that include lemon juice) won’t actually lighten the tattoo pigment because lemon juice only works out the outermost layer of skin, whereas the tattoo pigment is deposited deeper in the skin. 

Lemon juice is ineffective when it comes to removing tattoos and can cause skin discoloration that lasts for months.


A jar of salt used for salabrasion spills over

Salabrasion is an ineffective and often dangerous at-home tattoo removal strategy that involves rubbing off the outermost layer of skin (the epidermis) and rubbing salt into the wound.

This method does not work and can result in pain and scarring.


Dermabrasion is a cosmetic treatment that’s used to improve the appearance of skin by running a roller with extremely small needles over the area that needs treatment. This forces the skin to start healing itself and repairing things like wrinkles, discolored spots, acne, enlarged pores, and sun damage.

Even though it’s easier than ever to purchase a dermabrasion roller for your personal use, it does not mean it’s worth the cost of attempting to remove your tattoo. Like salabrasion, dermabrasion for removing your tattoo will not work because it only affects the epidermis. This can result in more scarring and pain while not doing a single thing to effectively remove your tattoo.

Acid peels

Acid peels can dissolve multiple layers of skin, which sounds like a good idea when removing a tattoo. But attempting to do an acid peel at home can result in disastrous chemical burns and scars.

At-home laser treatments

At-home tattoo removal lasers may sound like a good idea: they’re cheaper than going into a tattoo removal clinic and probably have the same technology, right?


At-home lasers are not as powerful or as effective as those used by professional laser technicians at specialty clinics. Why? Using the lasers in the clinics requires expert training because they are more powerful than at-home lasers. 

At-home lasers cannot reach as deeply into the skin to break up the ink. And there’s also a reason why professional laser technicians remove tattoos in multiple sessions: using the laser repeatedly to remove a tattoo in a short period of time can cause scarring and/or permanent discoloration.

Remove your tattoo at Dr. Ink Eraser

This list of at-home tattoo removal methods covers the surface of why removing a tattoo at home is a bad idea. It’s dangerous and can hurt your skin while not even doing a thing to remove the tattoo!

In fact, the only FDA-approved method of removing tattoo ink from the skin is laser tattoo removal. Don’t try DIY laser tattoo removal at home — it will not work.

Even though laser tattoo removal takes time and can be expensive in some cases, it’s worth going through because it works and is done by professionals.

Dr. Ink Eraser is a laser tattoo removal clinic that’s been removing tattoos for over 20 years. All of our technicians have been trained to properly operate lasers and know exactly what they’re doing. Contact us today for a free quote or more information about laser tattoo removal.