Is TCA Tattoo Removal An Effective Option?
If you have been to a spa for a chemical peel then you must have heard about TCA or trichloroacetic acid. This is an agent that is used to remove wrinkles, mild acne scars and fine lines. TCA tattoo removal also uses this agent for tattoo fading.
It seems tattoo removal tests were done in the early 90's and the initial results were promising. However, subsequent tests proved that the TCA peel tattoo removal is not effective for everyone and for all types of tattoos.
In spite of the limited efficacy, there are several tattoo removal products that are based on trichloroacetic acid and can be purchased without prescription.
Before you rush to buy a product based on trichloroacetic acid, it is important that you know some more details about this agent.
How Does TCA Work? /h2>
Trichloroacetic acid or TCA works by burning the skin by penetrating the skin layers. This acid will penetrate deeper depending upon the concentration of the acid used.
The acid burns the skin and causes an inflammation. This inflammation causes the tattoo ink to break and come to the surface of the skin as the new skin grows. Generating this controlled inflammation repeatedly over time helps in fading tattoos.
There are products available from 5% concentration to 100%. However using a very strong concentration may land you in a medical facility near your home.
If you do a search for 50% TCA home skin peel kit you will surely find a product online. And the same is true for 100% TCA also.
Since the tattoo is present in the dermis which is very deep, one has to use this agent several times and it will be a gradual process.
It is recommended to apply the TCA liquid again only after 6 weeks. It takes about 6 weeks for the skin to peel and be ready for the next peel cycle.
It is best to follow the instructions that come with the product for details about application and peel cycle.
Does TCA For Tattoo Removal Cause Scarring And Will It Hurt?
Most product vendors claim that it is 100% safe to use this agent however many tests have indicated that almost 20% of the people who used TCA experienced skin problems ranging from mild irritation to severe blistering and also skin discoloration.
This is why it is always better to try the product on small portion of the skin before using it on the entire tattoo.
Even if there is no reaction to trichloroacetic acid one can end up with a scar when the tattoo fades and this is because of the tattoo itself.
Another smart thing would be to take a look at the TCA tattoo removal before and after pictures that are available online to get a good idea about the results.
Generally it is recommended that people with dark skin color tones should avoid the TCA chemical peel because it can cause a condition called hypopigmentation. In this condition a light patch of skin is left behind where the tattoo was.
How Should You Use TCA?
TCA is like a liquid and a q-tip is normally used for applying it to the tattoo area. There are many companies that sell TCA chemical peel kits for use from home.
If you want to use the product yourself to remove tattoo at home it is important that you follow the instructions properly. Not following the instructions can result in skin damage.
Leave the TCA agent on the tattoo only for the period of time that is specified in the product catalogue.
Your skin is going to burn so be ready for that. After the application of the agent the skin may frost. Don't try and peel it, let it come off on its own.
After the agent is removed it is important to take care of the skin properly by keeping it clean. Try and avoid exposure to the sun.
Over the next few weeks the skin will peel and take some amount of tattoo ink with it. This is a natural and gradual process.
You may have to use the TCA product 2 - 3 times over the next few months in order to see decent results.
What Concentration Of TCA Should You Use?
Since this is a gradual tattoo removal process, you cannot expect to remove the tattoo with one application of TCA.
Although even a 100% concentration is available, most people recommend going with a concentration of 12 to 25%.
Higher concentration may give you faster results but the risks are also higher and therefore it is best to try it with a lower concentration.
For Which Type Of Tattoo Does TCA Work The Best?
Many tests have indicated that TCA works the best with homemade tattoos or amateur tattoos that are not located deep inside the skin.
A professionally done tattoo is located deep inside the skin and even a laser treatment can sometimes not remove it completely.
Another important fact is that TCA works best for brightly colored tattoos. One will notice that the black outlines and the bright colors fade after the first application of TCA.
What's The Feedback From TCA Tattoo Removal Reviews?
A quick look at some of the reviews on Amazon reveals that less than 50% of the people who have tried chemical peels for removing tattoos have got any results.
Many of the people who got some results with TCA have only reported partial fading of the tattoo.
And this is why many people use the TCA as a supplemental method before going for a much expensive treatment.
Most of the kits that are based on trichloroacetic acid are not expensive and cost less than 50 dollars and this is why people try them out.
People use TCA to fade tattoos to some extent so that they can save on the number of sessions with laser. Some people have reported that they could cut down laser cost by 60% by using TCA acid tattoo removal prior to going in for laser treatment.
Even people who go for cover up have used TCA to fade the tattoos to some extent.
Is TCA For Tattoo Removal The Way To Go?
Because your skin is an important organ it is recommended that you consult with a dermatologist and find out their opinion.
Ask them specifically about TCA tattoo removal and if it will work for your skin. Based on the response you can take a decision.
Alternately you can take a look at this video that provides a safer method for tattoo removal that is guaranteed to produce results.