TATTOO REMOVAL - The typical method of removing tattoo ink is with lasers. The laser process essentially breaks up the ink via intense light rays and causes your body to naturally expel the ink molecules and particles. This process works but does require expensive laser machinery and a highly trained technician to yield the potentially dangerous laser machine safely.
The method I’ve developed is a flushing procedure as opposed to a laser procedure.
Flushing tattoo ink out of the skin is safer and less dramatic than laser ink removal. The end result is the same: removing tattoo ink from the body.
The removal of old tattoo ink is a 2-step process:
1. Flush the old tattoo with a salty substance (Saline solution). Flushing with saline causes the ink particles to be broken down and are now available to be expelled, which will occur in the nearest bodily opening: where the needle opened up and penetrated the skin.
2. Overwork the area. When the skin tattoo area is slightly “overworked,” it causes the skin to naturally form a scab. This scab will draw out the ink as it does with a fresh tattoo. When a fresh and new tattoo has been overworked in the skin while it was being created, a scab will develop. This is undesirable because the scab will draw out ALL the tattoo ink when healing. This is a naturally occurring phenomenon that causes tattoo artists much frustration. In this instance, we WANT a scab.
For this procedure you will need:
Tattoo Machine: you can use a coil or rotary, but I prefer rotary. I use the Cheyenne (https://tatdirectory.com/tattoo-store)
Needles (5 liners, 8 Rounds)
Saline Solution (this can be found in pharmacies near or in eye-care sections)
Step 1: Set up your tattoo work area as you would for a typical tattoo procedure. Remember that you will still be exposed to potentially dangerous Blood Borne Pathogens (BBP) as this is a medically invasive procedure.
Set up your sterile gloves, paper towels etc. but fill your ink caps up with saline solution instead of tattoo ink.
Step 2: Decide which needle you need. If your area is small (like the size of a ladybug) or the lines are super thin, use a 5 liner. If the area is larger than that, use an 8 round. You will use the needle in small circular motions while covering the ENTIRE tattoo. This circular, methodical hand motion ensures full saturation of saline solution into old tattoo. It is possible to see the ink come out, onto your paper towel, while you are inserting saline solution into the skin. Some ink will be flushed immediately, and most will be removed through scabbing.
Step 3: Scabbing vs. Scarring. Scabbing is good. Scarring isn’t. So how long should you work the area? You will “tattoo” saline solution into the old tattoo 2 times (2X) longer than you would if you were inserting fresh new ink for the first time. We want to encourage slight overworking of the skin. But we don’t want to overwork the skin so much that the tattoo will get infected. We are aiming for a slight scab, not an infection. Start out “overworking” the affected area two times longer than your normal tattoo application time, not three times longer. Being cautious is the best approach until you can start getting a feel for how much is too much. Naturally, we do not want to cause scarring so being cautious while you are learning is the best practice.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Lisa has taught tattoo students from around the world. She has taught beginner, intermediate and advanced practices. Lisa's 18-year career and extensive experience in bodyart and permanent make-up have allowed her to become an expert at tattoo education and allowed her to develop her proprietary tattoo procedures.