A Beginner’s Guide to Tattoo Removal Creams
The tribal armband, the lower back tat, the fraternity mascot you inked on your ankle in college …
Let’s face it, when it comes to tattoos, some of us make regrettable decisions.
The good news is that there are ways to remove unwanted tattoos.
Think it can’t be done? Here’s our beginner’s guide to tattoo removal creams (and other, better methods).
Table of Contents
1. How Do Tattoo Removal Creams Work?
2. What’s in a Tattoo Removal Cream?
3. What to Look for in a Tattoo Removal Cream
4. The Dangers of Using a Tattoo Removal Cream
5. Is Laser Tattoo Removal a Better Option?
6. Tattoo Removal Cream vs. Laser Tattoo Removal: Which One is Better?
How Do Tattoo Removal Creams Work?
Tattoo removal cream is topical. It’s a completely non-invasive way to remove a tattoo. There’s no pain, and there are only minimal side effects. Just rub the cream into your skin and watch that tattoo fade away …
Sound too good to be true? That’s because it usually is.
When tattoos are inked on the skin, the ink goes deep into the dermis, far below the outer layer. Tattoo removal creams do not. The creams that are safe for use at home don’t include chemicals power enough to penetrate those deep layers of skin. And that’s a good thing because they would be dangerous if they did.
What tattoo creams are capable of is bleaching and peeling away the top layer of skin. That makes the tattoo less visible. In some cases, that’s enough to make it virtually invisible. But it doesn’t actually remove them.
What’s in a Tattoo Removal Cream?
There are a variety of tattoo removal creams on the market. The most trusted, popular products tend to include at least one of two important active ingredients:
Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) and hydroquinone.
Hydroquinone is a skin bleacher and lightening cream that reduces the melatonin and fades the pigments in the epidermis. Hydroquinone won’t remove your tattoo, but it can visibly reduce its appearance and lighten it significantly.
What to Look for in a Tattoo Removal Cream
Before you shell out your hard-earned money on a tattoo removal cream, do your research online. Look for products with strong reviews and read what other people’s experiences have been in using them.
Many people are skeptical and don’t trust the effectiveness of tattoo removal creams. But there are a few products that do have good reviews amongst the tattoo community.
One of the best tattoo removal creams on the market is the Wrecking Balm Tattoo Fade System. This will make your tattoo less visible, but even the name lets you know that it will only fade your tattoo. It will not remove it entirely.
MODAO Permanent Tattoo Removal Cream and Trichloroacetic Acid by RePare Skincare are two other trusted products that many people claim work well.
The Dangers of Using a Tattoo Removal Cream
Before you apply a tattoo removal cream, make yourself aware of the dangers.
Products with hydroquinone, for example, are formulated as skin lighteners. They’re best used on people with fair and light skin tones. If you have dark skin, hydroquinone can actually cause skin discoloration and permanent lightening of your skin.
Other side effects of tattoo removal creams include permanent scarring, itchy rashes, and skin burns. In extreme cases, some people have even suffered permanent skin and tissue damage as the result of using a tattoo removal cream.
Is Laser Tattoo Removal a Better Option?
Are you looking for a way to completely and permanently remove your tattoo? The laser removal procedure is the quickest, most efficient, and most effective way to do so.
The process begins with numbing and cooling the skin. Once the skin is numb, a certified technician applies a laser to the inked area. That laser emits pulses of light that penetrate deep into the skin. Those light pulses shatter the ink particles and make that tattoo disappear completely.
Learn more about our laser tattoo removal services!
Laser treatment requires a series of sessions, with most people needing at least five sessions to see significant results. The amount of treatments needed depends on a variety of factors, including the size, age, and colors of the tattoo.
Keep in mind that the length of each session is brief. To remove a small tattoo, sessions usually only last a matter of a few seconds.
Prior to treatment you’ll need to follow a strict pre-treatment plan, which includes avoiding sun exposure. In addition, you’ll need to follow a healthy aftercare plan. After sessions, you’ll need to avoid sweating in the treated area, which means not exercising for several days.
Now, there’s one other question that everyone has about laser tattoo removal: Does it hurt?
It can be a bit uncomfortable, but most people say it’s not nearly as painful as the actual tattooing process. Most equate the feeling of the laser to the sensation of snapping a rubber band against the skin.
Check out our Full List of Laser Tattoo Removal FAQs for more details.
Tattoo Removal Cream vs. Laser Tattoo Removal: Which One is Better?
Of the two tattoo removal methods, laser treatment is the most effective tattoo removal method.
It is FDA approved. It is safe for use on all skin types. It provides quicker results. It is also much less painful than other invasive methods, such as dermabrasion and surgical excisions.
When performed by a certified healthcare professional or experienced laser technician, it is the most effective treatment for removing tattoo pigments residing deep within the skin. It’s also a great option for people looking to fade an existing tattoo in preparation for a cover up.
There are pros and cons to tattoo removal creams, as well. While they are considerably less expensive than laser treatment, they are also less effective. Most popular creams are able to fade and lighten your tattoo, but they do not offer full and complete removal.
If it’s speed you’re looking for, opt for laser tattoo removal. With creams, it can take months of use just to start to see fading, let alone any actual “removal.”
It’s also important to consider the side effects. Some people experience side effects after using DIY home treatments. Most people who see a licensed professional for laser treatment see minimal to no side effects at all.
If you’re looking for the most effective tattoo removal solution, laser treatment is the preferred option for most.
There are effective tattoo removal systems that you can use at home, but many cause skin irritation, especially on sensitive skin. Before you purchase a DIY removal system, consult with your dermatologist to make sure it’s safe for use on your particular skin tone and type.
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