Safe and effective tattoo removal options do not include do-it-yourself options, such as removal with salt (also called salabrasion). The salt removal technique involves rubbing salt over the skin patterned with the tattoo. During this process skin is removed, leaving the skin open to infection and scarring. To safely remove a tattoo, one must consult a dermatologist or doctor familiar with tattoo removal.
Nearly all do-it-yourself dermabrasion, or skin removal, techniques result in visible scarring. The other do-it-yourself option is bleaching cream that also exposes the user to risks including skin irritation, burns or infection. As of 2014, no tattoo removal creams have FDA approval, according to Patient's Guide. If salabrasion or creams work at all, they can fade but do not remove a tattoo completely.
The gold standard for tattoo removal is laser removal. Laser treatment is most effective for do-it-yourself tattoos and professionally done black-colored tattoos. Due to the depth of ink placement in professionally done tattoos, they are harder to remove. Lighter skin also allows for better removal results than darker skin. Yellow and green colors are the most difficult to remove. Insurance typically does not cover the cost of tattoo removal, while the total cost and results depend on the location, colors and size of a tattoo.