Tattoo removal cream is a now a reality, and a cheap one at that

Tattoo removal cream is a now a reality, and a cheap one at that

CultureFebruary 18, 2015

A researcher named Alec Falkenham at Dalhousie University in Halifax has developed a topical tattoo removal cream that he says will fade any tattoo, even this one:

Better yet, he says the cream won't cause any inflammation; in fact, the cream is anti-inflammatory. That's pretty revoluntionary, considering current tattoo removal tattoo technology pretty much just burns the flaming ying yang right off your lower back in a fantastic display of burns and scarring. 

“When comparing it to laser-based tattoo removal, in which you see the burns, the scarring, the blisters, in this case, we’ve designed a drug that doesn’t really have much off-target effect,” he told CBC News Canada.

Current tattoo removal processes usually require multiple sessions, and are expensive as fuck. Sessions can run anywhere from $75 to hundreds of dollars per visit; you're basically paying for someone to sear your skin like a nice, medium rare filet mignon.

By contrast, Falkenham’s topical cream works by targeting the macrophages that are filled with ink in your tattoo. It attracts new macrophages, which come in and eat the ink-filled ones and then migrate to your lymph nodes so your body can destroy them. Macrophages, for those who skipped bio/life,  are the white blood cells that eat up cellular debris — like tattoo ink.

But since the process involves no violent lasers or skin searing, there are questions as to how effective it is compared to current laser removal options available.

“I’m curious to see how the cream penetrates and breaks down the particles. Current particle size is too big, so macrophages can’t gobble it up, per say,” says Dr. Nazanin Saedi, a researcher and director of Jefferson Laser Surgery and Cosmetic Dermatology. She has no relation to Falkenham and has studied effective tattoo removal processes over the past several years.

So far, he’s tested the cream on tattooed pig’s ears, and it's worked like a charm.

But the best part of all of this, aside from the fact that you can finally be rid of that Chuck Norris eating an ear of corn tattoo, is how cheap the cream is.

A 10-by-10-centimeter area would cost approximately $4.50 per treatment — much less than the cost of currently available removal technologies. The cream will also work best on tattoos that are more than two years old, which is perfect, because everyone needs a few years of shame and corporeal self loathing after something like this: 

No word yet as to when the cream will be commercially available; it still has to get FDA approval. But when it comes around, we'll be giving the following people a call: