Tattoo Removal – Saline versus Laser


Lasers use pulses of light to break up tattoo ink.  Results vary according to the type of laser used, often leaving behind a white ghost in place of the tattoo.  There are several factors that contribute to the success of laser tattoo removal.  For example, the colour and type of ink used in the tattoo may require several different lasers to be used.  With rapid ink changes in the tattoo industry, it can be difficult to remove all colours and inks.  The Q-switched Nd: Yag, Q-switched Alexandrite and the Q-switched Ruby are the most frequently used.

Saline Method

The A + Ocean method is highly successful in tattoo removal.

Why Salt?  Salt is natural and safe when utilised by a properly trained technician.  Salt is much more gentle than laser removal.  Finally, salt doesn’t recognise ink colour and is not a factor in successful removal.

How does it work?

The skin is a semi permeable membrane allowing only a certain size particle to get through.  By introducing a high concentration of salt water next to the dermis (where the unwanted ink or pigment is) water in the cells beneath and surrounding the pigment (containing lower concentrations of salt and water) will rise to the areas containing higher concentrations of salt.  This is called equalisation.  In the process of equalisation pigment is forced from the dermal layer of the skin upward to the epidermis by osmotic pressure in an attempt to become equal to the higher concentration of salt and water.  Unwanted ink or pigment brought to the skin surface is shed in the scab that forms over the procedure site during the healing process, revealing new pink sin.  Multiple treatments are necessary according to the shape, size, and location of the tattoo, as well as healing factors of the individual.

Cost Comparison

The cost of saline removal is less expensive and less traumatic to the skin than laser, dermabrasion, and excision.  All methods of removal involve multiple treatments with the possible exception of excision.  Experience and success in removal is a main factor.  Ask to see before and after photos when considering this service as well as an estimate of sessions required and fees.

Will I have a scar?

Regardless of the method you choose, some scarring or colour variations may result.  It is a medical fact that any scar takes one full year from the last manipulation to be mature (fully healed and finished changing). Since a tattoo is a scar with ink in it, the degree of scarring will vary depending on the original tattoo and the individual’s skin and healing properties.

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