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Saline removal: What is it, and how does it work?

Non-laser tattoo removal, also known as the saline removal procedure, can be used to lighten and remove old brow pigment, eyeliner pigment, overdrawn lip liner, and minor body tattoos measuring two square inches or less. Unlike laser tattoo removal, the saline tattoo removal process drags pigment up and out of the skin in a safe and effective manner.

A specifically prepared high grade saline solution is tattooed into the skin using a computerized machine and needle, bringing the pigment or ink to the surface, causing it to scab. The scab should fall off within 5-10 days of therapy, after which you should apply the aftercare lotion everyday for one month.

Patience is necessary, since effects can take up to six weeks between sessions. Before any removal treatment can be scheduled, a consultation is required. The client's skin condition, health profile, ability to recover properly, the type and color of pigment to be lightened, depth of pigment placement, and how well you have followed the tight aftercare guidelines will all influence the outcome.

What is the mechanism behind this procedure?

It works through the process of osmosis: When a high concentration of saline is introduced into the dermis of the skin, where unwanted pigment resides, water in the cells beneath and surrounding the pigment (which contain lower concentrations of sea salt) creates osmotic pressure, which causes water in the cells beneath and surrounding the pigment (which contain lower concentrations of sea salt) to rise to the areas containing the higher concentrations of sea salt.

Osmotic pressure forces pigment from the dermal layer to the epidermal layer during this equalisation process.

What can I expect from each therapy, both during and after it?

You should expect minor bleeding and slight edema throughout the procedure. For the next day or so, the region will be slightly painful. After 24–48 hours, scabs should appear. Although pigment may be evident in the scab, the scab is crucial and exactly what we desire! It can't be picked up, touched, or soaked in the shower. After your removal session, the effects will not be known for at least thirty days.

What is the expected number of treatments?

This all depends on the sort of tattoo we're trying to get rid of, the depth of the pigment, and how quickly you heal. The tattoo does not need to be completely removed for repair procedures. If we can lighten it up enough to go through it again, it may only take 1–2 sessions; nevertheless, some customers have required 4–5 sessions. This will be determined further during your appointment and after we evaluate the healed outcomes of your first treatment.


Saline tattoo removal is a safer and healthier option. Planning to have one? Feel free to email me, Sumiko Lui, at or book your appointments here.

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