It sometimes happens that a person gets fed up with the unwanted tattoo and decides to remove it. However, getting inked is easy compared to getting rid of it. For that purpose, there are several products in the market that claim to be the ultimate solution to wipe away tattoo ink. One of them is tattoo removal cream. But does tattoo removal cream work? Let’s find out.
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What is tattoo removal cream?
Tattoo removal creams are cosmetic creams that are applied to the tattooed skin in order to make its inkless noticeable. These products are often available over-the-counter or in cosmetic shops – with the majority of them neither approved by the FDA nor any other concerned authority.
Does tattoo removal cream work?
Well, it all depends on individual factors, such as skin type, ink color, age of tattoo, and other factors. Similarly, very few tattoo removal creams claim to fade away the tattoo ink completely However, the short answer to this question, which corroborates the majority of cases, is “no”. It may work sporadically on some people but one thing is clear; no one can hundred percent wipe away all the ink from the tattooed skin by using tattoo removal cream.
What are the ingredients commonly found in tattoo removal creams?
The ingredients commonly found in various tattoo removal creams include Trichloroacetic Acid, Hydroquinone, Kojic acid, Alpha Arbutin, Glycolic acid, and Lactic acid. All these chemicals have the ability to make the skin lighter or remove dark spots from a specific area up to some extent. However, there is little scientific evidence to support the effectiveness of these products.
What are the side effects of using tattoo removal creams?
It is obvious that if a product has no scientific evidence to support its effectiveness, there will be side effects when someone uses it. Same is the case with tattoo removal creams. The side effects one can face after using such products include;
Redness, itchiness, and swelling are some common skin irritations that some people experience while using tattoo removal creams. However, these effects can range from mild to severe.
Ingredients, like hydroquinone and kojic acid, can lighten the skin as well as lead to uneven skin tone or discoloration.
Strong acids like Trichloroacetic Acid (TCA) can cause chemical burns if used improperly. These burns can be painful and may lead to long-term skin damage.
Products containing TCA can cause the skin to peel or blister. However, such products can sometimes lead to scarring and ultimately dark spots.
Some people may be allergic to the ingredients in tattoo removal creams, leading to symptoms like hives, difficulty breathing, and swelling in the face, lips, or tongue.
While using creams for tattoo removal purposes, it is obvious that people don’t get the desired results, leading to further disappointment.
Increased Skin sensitivity:
Some tattoo removal creams may increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun, making you more prone to sunburns and sun damage.
What are the effective ways for removing tattoos?
The following options are considered effective ways for removing any type of tattoo. However, the expertise of the practitioner, i.e., dermatologists, laser therapists, or any licensed artists should not be neglected.
Laser therapy is the most common method of tattoo removal. In this treatment, different types of lasers are used to break down the pigments in the tattoo ink, which are then naturally cleared away by the body’s immune system. It typically requires multiple treatments and the success rate can vary depending on factors like the age, size, and color of the tattoo, as well as the patient’s skin type.
Dermabrasion involves using a specialized tool that sands away the top layer of skin to reach the ink in the dermis. This process is not only painful but can also lead to scarring and pigmentation changes. In addition, it may not completely remove the tattoo and the outcome can be unpredictable depending on the depth and type of ink used. However, it is less commonly used today due to the availability of more effective and less invasive laser treatments.
Surgical excision is often carried out on small tattoos, like a butterfly tattoo. This method involves surgically cutting out the tattoo and stitching the skin back together.
Peeling a tattoo with the help of a chemical solution, usually of trichloroacetic acid (TCA), phenol, or alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), is a technique called chemical peeling. When the solution is applied to the skin, it causes the skin to blister and peel off, taking some of the tattoo pigment with it. Like dermabrasion, this method is less common today due to the advent of more effective laser treatments. Also, the chemicals can lead to significant skin damage and discoloration.
Till date, the gold standard for tattoo removal is laser tattoo removal due to its efficacy and relative safety. As always, if you’re considering any procedure for tattoo removal, it’s crucial to consult with a professional dermatologist or a skin specialist.