What Is Saline Tattoo Removal (FAQ & Side Effects)

  • Updated August 24, 2022
  • by Honey Seida
Saline Tattoo Removal before & after

While it is true that the market for tattoo artists does not really seem to be slowing down, there are also a number of people who, for a myriad of reasons, may regret getting tattooed. Without a doubt, laser tattoo removal stays the best way to have one’s tattoos removed, but for those people who might want to give saline tattoo removal a try, we decided to write the guide up.

You need to pay attention that there are many advertisements for new products that can easily remove tattoos, but many of them are dangerous and unsafe. In this article, we will focus on the method of removing tattoos using salt and then briefly point out a few alternative ways.

Saline for Tattoo Removal

It does not matter if you just got a tattoo or that you have had it on your body for a long time. The important thing is that using salt for tattoo removal can be dangerous and may not be advisable as it has the potential to damage the skin.This is why saline tattoo removal had better be reserved for removing temporary tattoos and not deeper permanent ones.

In general, the skin consists of two layers. The dermis or inner layer and the epidermis or outer layer. When you get a tattoo, the colour passes through the outer layer and reaches the dermis. Therefore, if you want to remove your tattoo, you should actually clean the inner layer of your skin.

Well, first of all, you need to know that doing this without the use of a laser can be quite a challenge, especially if you are trying to remove eyeliner tattoos where the skin is thinner and damage me be even more dangerous.

Even if you can remove the ink from the outer layer of the skin, the tattoo will still remain on your body, and rubbing salt on the outer part will not have much effect. Saline tattoo removal causes red spots on the skin. In addition, your skin may change colour or even become sore. So, you need to know that using saline for tattoo removal can have serious consequences and, in the end, it may even make your tattoo look worse.

How Does Saline Tattoo Removal Work?

Although saline tattoo removal solution causes skin abrasion, there must be a reason why many people still keep doing this. When you get a tattoo, you are told not to pour water on it, especially salt water. So now it makes sense that if you soak your tattoo in salt water, it will probably disappear.

Wetting the tattoo area with saline actually causes the ink to spread and fade. Regrettably, though this is not a magical solution that will completely remove your tattoos all of a sudden.

If saline tattoo removal is done the correct way, it may be able to remove the tattoos without causing scars or intense abrasion and damaging the skin. If your tattoo is fresh, saline will spread the ink and you may be able to remove it. But if it has been a few weeks since you got your tattoo, salt water probably will not have much effect.  

In many clinics and beauty salons, to remove tattoos, first, local anesthesia is used in the tattoo area, then they pierce the surface of the skin with a tool like a gun and inject the saline solution into the dermis or the inner layer of the skin. This is in a way the reverse process of getting a tattoo.

Saline Tattoo Removal Side Effects

Saline Tattoo Removal Side Effects

Remember that rubbing salt on the skin causes it to wear out. Rubbing the skin with salt is not a method that is accepted by many doctors or therapists. Saline tattoo removal has the potential to harm your skin and you should be fully aware of this part of the story as well. On the other hand, there are also those who are proficient and skilled enough in doing this to make it work without causing irreversible damage.

Alternatives to Saline Tattoo Removal

Since there are simply better ways to remove a tattoo than using saline solution, these alternatives are normally preferred by people who intend to get rid of their tattoos professionally, quickly and without the duress of side effects.

Alternatives to Saline Tattoo Removal

Laser Therapy

Tattoo removal using laser is one of the safest and most effective ways to remove tattoos. In this method, the therapist or beautician completely erases the tattoo ink using concentrated laser light strokes. The cost of laser treatment will vary based on the size of the tattoo. All things considered, this is one of the most effective and economical ways to get rid of tattoos without complications.


Dermabrasion is another effective method to remove some tattoos, which is done under the supervision of a specialist. Dermabrasion is normally a bit cheaper than laser therapy. In the dermabrasion process, the skin layers of the tattoo area are removed. Then the tattoo ink may need to be completely removed by a laser.


In this method, the skin of the tattoo area becomes frozen using liquid nitrogen, and then the tattoo ink is removed. Cryotherapy is normally a painful and expensive process, but if you have no other way left, you can count on this method as well.

Cosmetic Surgery

While it may be a bit of a jump from saline tattoo removal to cosmetic surgery, in some cases, it may be the last option left to remove tattoos, where the skin of the tattoo area will be completely removed. After surgery, the tattoo area becomes sore and may still be painful.

Final Word

While saline tattoo removal is still a rather popular method of getting rid of an annoying tattoo, you need to be fully aware of the side effects, what you are getting into, and that there may be better options available before you come to a final decision.


How long does saline tattoo removal take?

Usually, within 2 to 3 months, the skin is completely restored, and the tattoo is removed.

Does salt tattoo removal work?

It may work with some tattoos but is not recommended as it can damage the skin, and most of the time it only manages to fade the tattoo which in some cases will end up making it even more unpleasant.

Is saline tattoo removal safe?

Not really, as in order to remove the tattoo, it relies on wearing your skin out which may not be a good idea in the first place.

Does saline tattoo removal hurt?

It is not going to be an overwhelmingly painful process, but there will be some pain involved.

How many sessions does saline tattoo removal take?

It usually takes three to six sessions, and you need to wait four to six weeks between each session to allow the area to heal and respond.

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