“Is TCA for tattoo removal dangerous?”
Good question! 🙂
Thousands of people are looking for methods of home tattoo removal and TCA would seem to fit the bill, as
- you can carry out the treatment at home in your own time
- you can get hold of the ingredients easily
- it’s inexpensive.
There are two medical studies which have shown TCA can remove tattoos satisfactorily, but there are risks …
Read on to discover more …
What is TCA and where do you buy it?
It is classed as a corrosive substance and dangerous to the environment. Unsurprisingly, it can be a hazardous ingredient to use, as you can damage your skin permanently.
Is TCA for tattoo removal worth the risk?
TCA is readily available, but that does not mean it is sensible to use it. In fact, even breathing in the fumes of 5% TCA is thought to be hazardous.
You can buy special kits or just bottles, with or without instructions.
Which ever way you buy it, sellers make it very clear: Buyer Assumes All Risks.
Sellers insist that TCA use doesn’t result in scarring …
Don’t believe them.
Investigations show 10-20% of people who use it have an adverse reaction.
This could take the form of mild blistering to serious irritation and skin discolouration.
There are dangers in using TCA. Everyone reacts differently. You’d be wise to carry out a patch test first.
It’s known to be unsuitable for people with dark skin tones because it will leave a lighter patch – (hypo pigmentation), which may be permanent.
Choose very carefully who you buy the TCA from – some sell a diluted version at exorbitant prices …
And don’t be tempted to save money and buy crystals – you might be buying industrial grade TCA, used for cleaning metal … and you can imagine what that will do to your skin.
You need to buy medical grade TCA.
How does TCA work?
It gives a controlled burn, which takes off several layers of skin, revealing the fresh skin underneath.
Best results are seen on amateur or homemade made tattoos where the ink has not been placed as deep in the dermis, (the second layer of skin), as it is with professional tattoos.
Efficient TCA tattoo removal depends on the
- size of the tattoo,
- the age and
- type of ink used.
How do you use TCA?
Bear in mind that the wetter you get the skin the deeper the acid will go into the skin layers.
Once you apply the TCA, (use a cotton bud or q tip), the area may become frosted …
Don’t peel that off. Let it come away by itself.
Leave the TCA on for 2-3 minutes only before washing off.
And have some neutralizer ready – baking soda and water paste is used by many to stop the burning.
Some people choose to use ice on the treated area, others prefer to shower it off.
Expect it to be uncomfortable – a bit like severe sunburn or windburn.
After you have removed the TCA, treat the area as if was severely sunburnt – keep it clean, covered from the sun and moisturised.
The skin peels off over the next few weeks, taking some of the tattoo ink with it each time.
How effectively does TCA work?
You should see results in 2-3 applications over several months.
Leave six weeks between treatments for the skin to heal.
If your tattoo hasn’t been completely removed in seven applications, you are unlikely to see any further improvement 🙁
What concentration of TCA do you need to use?
Concentrations vary from 10-50%, even 100%.
The higher the concentration, the deeper the acid burns in to the skin …
Many people suggest starting out at 12.5-25 % concentration.
Others say 35-45% TCA.
If a stronger solution is used, there is more risk of scarring and darkening or lightening the skin …
Go carefully, as this might be irreversible.
Is TCA for tattoo removal used in beauty salons and spas?
It used to be, but not quite so often these days.
Their preferred method of tattoo removal now is by laser … it has less risk and a much greater profit margin for them 🙂
As a guide, it might be helpful to know that in beauty salons and spas, 15% TCA is used for chemical peels for acne, wrinkle reduction and removal of fine lines.
Compare this with the examples on YouTube of people using 80-100% TCA to remove tattoos at home … the results are not pretty.
NB. Many of the videos are 10 minutes and longer, with a lot of unnecessary “waffle.”
There are some examples of application, serious burns etc which may be worth looking at if you are seriously thinking of using TCA at home.
Is TCA for tattoo removal dangerous?
I’d say so – but it’s up to you 🙂
Would you use it?
I’d guess that your answer partly depends on the location of your unwanted tattoo.
If it’s mainly covered by clothing, you might think it worth risking incomplete removal or scarring or other skin damage.
Is TCA for tattoo removal your choice?
Here’s my advice 🙂
Make an appointment with a dermatologist for a consultation.
Ask for their advice on using TCA when they can see the position and colours in the tattoo and your skin texture.
Ask them about your risks of scarring …
Depending on their answers, decide whether you want them to carry out the process.
Alternatively, watch this video safer methods of tattoo removal which you can carry out, your self, at home, with guaranteed results …
Within minutes, you could be applying the special massage techniques to begin to break up the tattoo ink … with
- no risks
- no pain and
- no scarring.
Why not go ahead and get started today? Because the sooner you get started, the sooner that tattoo will be gone 🙂