A quick search on the internet reveals a multitude of do it yourself tattoo removal options: creams, gels, multi-step skin systems, etc. A cursory review of the anatomy of skin is important to be able to understand why these options will not be effective at removing your tattoo. The human skin has a top layer called the epidermis which is continually regenerating and sloughing the outermost skin cells. This layer naturally provides an excellent barrier to any fluids, gels or creams applied to the skin due to the tightly packed and flattened cells. Tattoo pigments are typically placed in layers within the deeper aspect of the skin called the dermis. This layer does not chronically change or have cell turnover as the overlying epidermis does, thus, allowing the tattoo pigments to remain relatively stable within this part of the skin.
The basis of all of the marketed DIY tattoo removal techniques rely on topical skin application of “proprietary” formulations in an attempt to remove tattoo ink within the protected dermal skin layer. Your tattoo artist did not simply apply the ink to your skin to reach the dermal layer and likewise, applying one of these topical formulations will not allow for ink to be removed from this deeper skin layer.
Below are some of the most heavily marketed topical DIY options:
QuickFade Tattoo Fading Gel – Topical gel containing TCA (Trichloracetic Acid) which they claim will allow for fading and eventual removal of tattoo ink. This does not happen. The company falsely claims that laser tattoo removal is “extremely painful” and leaves “unappealing scars” both of which are untrue. QuickFade guarantees their product for 90 days but states that it requires 3-6 months to see improvement in tattoo. 6 month supply $179.99.
WreckingBalm Tattoo Removal and Fade System – a 3-step system which claims to remove the top layer of skin which then allows for “serum” to “break up the cellular matrix where ink is embedded”. They have a nice, interactive website which I am certain sells a great deal of WreckingBalm but a quick look at Amazon reviews reveals what consumers really think of this product. “Complete scam”, “Snake Oil”, “Waste of Money”, etc. 10 month supply $ , Amazon review – 2 stars
Tat B Gone – Claims to be #1 topical product for effectiveness while remaining “gentle on the skin”. Website states there is no TCA, no Chromabright, no Hydroquinone. This is a system of creams which theoretically “permeate the dermis to help fade the tattoo away by attacking the ink”. 10 month supply $850, Amazon reviews – 1 star
Evanesco is a one step cream using “all natural” Anacardic acid from cashew nut oil. This company actually claims to be able to remove your tattoo “within weeks” through a “dermatologic reaction” involving scabbing and scratching which removes the “dermis layer of your skin”.
Removing the dermis layer of the skin is the equivalent of a 3rd degree burn and will result in a significant scar 100% of the time. It is very unfortunate that this is able to be peddled on the internet to unwary consumers. 1mL box of Evanesco is $79.95, No available reviews.
InkBusters, TAT-Med, Profade, Tattoo-Off, Dermasal, Rx-tattoo are all similar variations of topical creams, ointments and gels claiming to be able to remove tattoos, all of which are ineffective. Unfortunately, consumers desperate to have their tattoos removed often fall prey to the unscrupulous marketing efforts and ineffective products sold by these companies.
The most cost effective and current gold standard for removal of unwanted tattoos remains treatment by an experienced provider using a variety of Q-switched lasers specifically developed for removing tattoos. It is important to understand that tattoos are insoluble inks placed within the dermis and are meant to be permanent. All tattoos present a significant challenge to be removed and will always require multiple visits for adequate ink clearance. The number of laser treatments will be based on the tattoo location, quality and character of the ink as well as ink density, patient skin type and overall health of the client. This is a proven effective and safe method for tattoo removal which works very well with minimal discomfort and great results. The LeBeau Clinic is proud to provide the gulf coast with the best tattoo removal technology, the triple wavelength Astanza Trinity tattoo removal system. Providing service to the communities of Pensacola, Pensacola Beach, Dothan, Navarre, Gulf Breeze, Mobile, Ft. Walton Beach and Destin.
At the LeBeau Clinic, we pride ourselves on unmatched customer service, quality care and genuine results. We look forward to taking great care of you.
If you would like to schedule a consultation for laser tattoo removal contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 850-308-1738. Evening and weekend appointments available.