top of page

Saline Tattoo Removal FAQ

Updated: Aug 7, 2023

Everything you need to know about saline tattoo removal.

Consultation is necessary before tattoo removal process.

What is Saline Tattoo Removal? Here at OptiBrow Permanent Makeup we use the natural saline solution, called Li-FT. It is implanted over existing permanent makeup or small tattoos using a machine and needles, or manual tools with needles. Implanting the solution into the skin breaks up the healed pigment, and begins to lift the pigment out of the skin by osmosis. The pigment pulls toward the surface of the skin thanks to the saline solution, and becomes a scab. The scab then falls off and leaves a lightened tattoo

Who needs it?

When your cosmetic tattoo is too dark, blocky, patchy, or has a funny colour such as red-green-grey or many different colours, also if you have an uneven shape, or if you'd like to get a different technique but need a colour lightening before . Read more here about cover ups .

How many sessions you need?

There is no certain number of how many sessions is necessary. That depends of the goals and the nature of the tattoo. Also how many layers of ink there is, how saturated, the age of the tattoo, depth, what techniques and what type of pigments have been used, skin condition and so on. Some might need only 1 session when others might need up to 4-6 sessions spaced over 6-8 weeks for successful outcome.

How does the tattoo look straight after the removal?

Your skin might have some redness, irritation and swelling straight after the removal, shortly after you will have a small scab that indicates that the healing process has started. It usually takes 7-10 days for the skin to heal. While the skin is healing it is important to follow aftercare instructions that are given to you by the artist. It's extremely important that you won't pull or pick of any scabs during that time, you have to let them to fall off naturally. The full recovery takes around 6-8 weeks.

Is saline tattoo removal painful?

It feels very similar when getting tattooed or getting a permanent eyebrow. Some describe it as prickling or stinging sensation. The discomfort is very individual and varies depending of your pain tolerance, your preparation prior the removal and how sensitive your skin is to this treatment.

What are the risks and side effects of a saline removal?

As with every form of tattooing there can be potential risks, since you're dealing with an open wound it is important you follow the aftercare guidelines exactly and keep the area dry and clean. Saline removal is less prone to cause hypo or hyperpigmentation on certain skin types, but scarring does pose a risk. Some cosmetic tattoos (mostly brows) might already have an existing scarring (more common with microblading) .

What's the difference between saline and laser tattoo removal and when do choose one?

Laser tattoo removal targets certain colours in the skin with a high-intensity light that breaks/shatters down the ink. Laser tattoo removal is recommended if you have a bigger tattoo or have more darker (especially black) colours. Most common side effects with laser tattoo removal are blistering, scabbing or crusting and with saline tattoo removal mostly scabbing.

However not everyone can have laser tattoo removal, it's not recommended for people with darker skin types or if you are prone to hypo-or hyperpigmentation.

Saline tattoo removal procedure itself takes more time than laser tattoo removal. Saline tattoo removal works more effectively on lighter colours, whites, reds, greens, browns and is more commonly used to remove permanent makeup. With both removals you might need 4-6 sessions, depending of the nature of the tattoo. Laser tattoo removals can be more pricier.

Saline Tattoo Removal Aftercare Instructions:

It is critical to follow all aftercare instructions until all scabbing is complete to prevent complications, scarring and to achieve optimum results. Please read carefully.

  • WASH twice a day with saline starting on the day after treatment. You can get packets of saline in the same aisle as nasal sprays, etc. at just about any store. We want to wash the treated area with a higher salt content than our bodies (to draw the pigment into the superficial scab we are creating) so 1 packet of saline per 4 ounces of distilled water. Apply the saline solution to the treated area for about 10-15 seconds (any longer and the scab will be disrupted), then wash and dry completely. Do this when you wake up and before bedtime

  • CLEAN Keep the removal area clean, dry and open to the air. Do not cover with anything to ensure a faster healing time. Only touch the area with clean hands.


  • KEEP THEM DRY Don’t soak the removal area in water. As the scab starts to form, keep the area clean and dry. The longer the scab stays, the better the result. You can shower as normal but keep the area out of the shower spray the best you can and do not let the area stay wet for more than a few minutes. This includes steam and sweat, so no saunas or steam of any kind, and no sweaty exercise.

  • Do not touch, rub, scratch ,or pick the scab. Doing so may cause scarring and/or hyperpigmentation as well as prevent the saline from removing as much pigment as possible.

  • Until scabbing is complete, no makeup or skincare products should go within 2.5cm of the procedure area. Typically the scab can last anywhere from 7 - 14 days depending on aftercare and skin.

  • BE PROTECTIVE Do not do anything to disrupt the healing process, do not apply any balm or ointment.

  • ONCE HEALED Now you can apply some Vitamin E Oil throughout the day for at least 4 weeks, or until the next session. Start this AFTER all scabs have fallen off. It is our goal to keep the area as dry as possible until all scabs have naturally fallen off.

  • LIPS Avoid abrasive items like straws and cup lids while healing. Be mindful of facial expressions so you don’t create cracks in scabs.


  • The skin may appear pink or discolored for a couple of weeks before returning to its original shade. Sometimes pigment that has spread underneath the skin may rise to the surface before coming out completely. In these cases, it may appear that the tattoo has ‘bled’ to surrounding tissue. This is all part of the process and can be addressed during future sessions if needed.

  • Please refrain from threading, waxing or hair removal products on the treated area while healing.

  • It is important to the process and integrity of the skin that 6-8 full weeks of healing take place before another lightening session can be done. No exceptions.

  • Lightening and/or removing unwanted pigment is a process and patience is required. This is true whether you are choosing a lightning product service or laser. Please be patient and give the process a fair chance to work. Expect visible and wanted results in 2 to 5 sessions. How many sessions needed will depend on how saturated the pigment is, how deep it was implanted and how much needs to be removed for the desired result. In many cases only a percentage of the pigment needs to be lightened/removed and then we can continue the correction process by color correcting or color shifting. In those cases where we have pigment misplaced or in an unwanted area, color correcting will not be an option and removing as much of the pigment as possible will be our ultimate goal.

  • Results cannot be foreseen, predicted or guaranteed.

First several days: The area will scab over.

One week later: The area remains scabbed over.

Two weeks later: The scab has probably fallen off. The skin still looks pink or discolored and appears fragile, as it’s still healing.

One month later: The skin is looking more normal by now.

Two months later: The area has completely healed (hopefully!) and is ready for the next session.

During the procedure we are inflicting a controlled wound and clients must ensure to follow a strict aftercare protocol to avoid any chance of infection. In the event of an infection you may experience some pressure and/or burning and the following recommendations are helpful to resolve the infection. Wash the areas thoroughly with an unscented, pH balanced soap. Cetaphil or Pears soap work well. Rinse well, make sure you completely dry the area using something that will not get stuck and pull any remaining scabs. Gently using a blow dryer can work but avoid burning the area. When the area is completely dry, apply some Polysporin or Neosporin and the infection generally resolves within 24 hours. In the event that the infection does not resolve or gets worse, please see your GP.

Saline Tattoo Removal Before and After
Saline Tattoo removal

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us on

OptiBrow Permanent Makeup or book in a consultation through our website .

Related Posts

See All


bottom of page