It’s okay to fall out of love with a tattoo. When that happens, there are tattoo removal methods that can help. But does tattoo removal cream really work? Below is a look into what tattoo removal cream is and some examples of more effective tattoo removal options to consider in its place.

What Is It and How Does Tattoo Removal Cream Work?

Claiming to diminish the appearance of ink, tattoo removal creams are noninvasive topical balms that work by bleaching the skin or peeling away its top layer. They can be found in drugstores and online. Tattoo ink is typically injected into the middle layer of the skin, or dermis. Because these products only affect the surface, there isn’t really any tattoo removal cream that works the way it says.

In fact, there’s very little evidence these ointments actually remove tattoos at all. They often only fade a tattoo, leaving behind a discolored version and potentially permanent scarring. To make matters worse, there may be added chemicals which could damage the skin. Since these products are not regulated, none of the tattoo removal creams presently on the market has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, or FDA.

Especially dangerous ingredients lurking in many of the removal creams sold online are TCA chemicals. These can lead to serious skin damage and permanent injury. Normally found in dermatology offices, these peeling agents can be used to remove calluses, warts, skin tags and even freckles. However, before dermatologists apply it, they assess the skin type and tone. This helps minimize the risk of scarring and hypopigmentation, or lightening of the skin, as well as determine the ideal TCA concentration.

There are also numerous possible side effects of using removal creams. Added plant allergens can lead to a reaction, or the acidic chemicals themselves can cause a myriad of responses from the body. There can even be potentially life-threatening symptoms.

A few of the common side effects and serious reactions include:

    • Anaphylaxis (a severe allergic reaction)

    • Difficulty breathing

    • Hives

    • Hypopigmentation

    • Inflammation

    • Nausea

    • Peeling

    • Rashes

    • Redness

    • Swelling

    • Vomiting

At the end of the day, the answer to “do tattoo removal creams work?” is a resounding no. While the answer may change depending on the source, the absence of results, lack of approval and potentially dangerous outcomes speak volumes. It’s advised to avoid these products no matter the promises made on the bottle.

More Effective Methods

It’s recommended to research the options that have been proven to be effective before trying to find a cheap tattoo removal cream that works. For instance, there is saline tattoo removal, which uses a specially formulated saline injection to break down the pigmentation and, therefore, lighten the skin.

Another more common removal method utilizes lasers. In this approach, a laser uses pulses of energy to penetrate the ink under the skin. The ink then absorbs this energy, heating up in the process until it shatters into particles. Once the fragments are small enough, they are absorbed by the body’s natural immune response and transported to the liver via white blood cells, with the final step being elimination. This happens gradually over numerous treatment sessions.

There are several different methods, but for laser tattoo removal that will give you the absolute best results we recommend our Accelerated Removal Technique, or ARTSM. With this approach, Zapatat specialists use state-of-the-art lasers to penetrate deeper into the tattoo and complete the process in fewer sessions. It’s fast, safe and the best option around.

If you would like to learn more about our services, we welcome you to reach out today!