Request Get a quote? 07 5607 0563 Menu


Non-Laser Tattoo Removal Methods – The [no] Good, The Bad & The Ugly

There are numerous forms of tattoo removal methods out there. Unfortunately, not all methods work as well as promised, and some can even be harmful…causing the individual to be left with permanent side effects.

Thankfully, laser tattoo removal is by far the safest and most effective method available today. If performed by a licenced and experienced laser technician using a high quality, purpose built laser such as the Quanta Q Plus C EVO, this form of tattoo removal can fade and remove tattoos in a safe and effective manner without the harmful and painful flaws of other methods.

Below we go into a bit more detail on other methods of tattoo removal and why they are not recommended:


This form of tattoo removal involves ‘scraping’ or ‘sanding down’ the skin using an abrasive device such as sandpaper, wire brushes or salt crystals. If not performed using a local anaesthetic this method can cause an extreme amount of pain and discomfort for the client.

It is more than just the pain that makes this form of tattoo removal a bad choice, it can (and most likely will) cause unsightly scarring, discolouration, bleeding and infection. Healing is usually slow and the infection risk is high.



Similar to the dermabrasion method, salabrasion involves the use of water, granular salts and an abrasive device which is supposed to peel away the top layers of the skin.

Salt is applied to the skin which is then rubbed vigorously until the skin turns a deep blood red. An antibiotic cream in applied and left for three days where this process is repeated up to three more times until the skin begins to separate and peel off, bringing the ink with it (supposedly).

More than 1 salabrasion treatment is usually required, and almost always results in unsightly scarring.

Again, healing can be notoriously slow, and the risk of infection is high.



There seems to be a growing trend whereby some people are applying various types of acid to the skin in order to fade or remove tattoos. Depending on the strength of the acid, the top layers of the skin are abraded, which then form scabs, resulting in some of the ink pigment to fall out.

Health professionals warn against this method due to the side effects of applying acid to the skin. Queensland Health has also issued a warning against this method due to serious complications that have been reported…including scarring & infection.

Side effects of acid application include:

  • Pain
  • Burning
  • Weeping sores
  • Swelling
  • Scabbing
  • Discolouration
  • Scarring
  • Infection



This form of tattoo removal involves the use of a ‘natural’ lactic acid which is injected into the skin using a specialised machine similar to a tattoo machine.

This process causes deep scabs which expel the ink when the scab eventually falls off. The result is removed ink (sometimes) yes, however, significant scarring is usually left behind in strange round shapes that can be very unsightly.

From all reports, this method is also time consuming, expensive and VERY painful.



You know the old saying ‘If it seems to good to be true it probably is?’. This is one of those cases. Apart from maybe a very slight fading of your tattoo, the only side effects of this method are wasted money and lost hope.



This form of tattoo removal is performed by a qualified surgeon who removes the tattoo using a scalpel and closes the open wound with stitches.

Along with being a very expensive form of removal, it is usually only suited to very small tattoos on certain areas of the body.

As skin is being completely removed, the most common side effect is permanent deep scarring, loss of pigmentation and increased risk of infection.



This form of tattoo removal isn’t widely performed in Australia, but is more popular in other areas of the world.

It involves the use of a spray-on freezing agent which induces frostbite, which is followed up by mechanical sanding of the skin. This method is extremely painful and is almost always performed under a local aesthetic.

The major drawbacks of this method include the fact it is not always effective, scarring is common and surrounding tissue can be damaged in the process.

From these descriptions it is clear that laser tattoo removal is truly the absolute best choice when it comes to fading or removing a tattoo.

Although there are some temporary side effects such as blistering, scabbing, swelling and bruising, these are all temporary and usually subside within a few days, leaving behind perfectly healed skin.

At Advanced Tattoo Removal we use only the absolute latest in Q Switched laser technology designed and made in Italy which is both effective and safe for fading and removing all coloured inks.

For more information regarding our laser, or absolutely anything else you’d like to know regarding tattoo removal, contact us at the clinic today.


Uncross those arms & take the next step towards peace of mind.

Get a consultation