Tattoo Removal at Home

Removing a tattoo can be a costly process, with the bill for larger tattoos often running to thousands of pounds. If you really can't stand the sight of your tattoo any longer, there are certain home remedies that will save you money, but aren't as safe or effective as professional procedures.

Tattoo Removal Cream

The use of tattoo removal cream is one of the most popular methods for removing a tattoo at home, especially by those not wishing to go through the pain or possible scarring of laser treatments. The creams are generally chemical exfoliates which work by removing the top layers of skin and breaking down the inks in the unwanted tattoo. As the main ingredient in these creams is generally a type of acid, a certain degree of discomfort can be expected if using this method of tattoo removal, and the use of a soothing balm in conjunction with the cream is recommended. Often the effects take several months to become apparent, and for certain skin types creams do not work at all. Success is not guaranteed for anyone, but it is worth trying if surgery is not an option. A multitude of different creams exist, the most popular of which appears to be WreckingBalm. Testimonials for most of the available creams attest to them fading tattoos significantly, however very few report a total removal of the tattoo, and with the cost lying anywhere between £30 and £80 per pack, this is worth bearing in mind if considering this method of treatment as it is likely to be required for around 9-12 months.

TCA Tattoo Removal

TCA stands for trichloroacetic acid, and is a peeling agent used to remove a range of unwanted skin blemishes, as well as tattoos. It works by generating an inflammation on the surface of the skin above the tattoo, which after around a week peels and sheds. The TCA causes the ink in the tattoo to break down and move towards the surface of the skin as new skin replaces that which has been shed. The TCA has to be applied roughly every six weeks, and treatment continues until the tattoo has faded sufficiently. Many factors play a role in the success of TCA, such as the age and quality of the tattoo, as well as the colour of the ink and colour of the skin. The cost of TCA tattoo removal is relatively cheap, but again will depend entirely on how long the treatment is required for.

Other Methods

There are certain methods which lie at the more extreme end of home tattoo removal, namely dermabrasion and excision. In a surgical setting these techniques are well practiced, but to attempt them yourself is asking for trouble. Dermabrasion involves sanding off the unwanted tattoo until the area starts bleeding, and then repeating the process once the area has healed. Although many sites claim this to be a perfectly acceptable method as long as you use ant-bacterial powder when sanding, it is not recommended to try this. Dermabrasion can be performed safely by a specialist. Excision is also not recommended, as this method involves slicing off the tattoo with a scalpel and then stitching the skin back together to cover the wound. This will almost certainly result in scarring, and again, any sort of procedure like this should be performed by a professional, and not tried at home. There are new products entering the market for tattoo removal, such as the Magic Wand. This is an iron shaped device which basically burns away the top few layers of skin. However, with side effects including second degree burns and a loss of sensation, extreme precaution is recommended if considering this method.

The safest method for removing a tattoo at home is simply to cover it up.

« How to Cover Up a Tattoo Painless Tattoo Removal »