TCA is a popular non-prescription skin peeling agent commonly used by doctors, health spas and private individuals to remove fine lines, wrinkles and acne scars on the face. TCA has also been used to remove calluses, stretch marks, age spots, moles and much more. TCA has twice been medically tested and proven to fade and/or remove tattoos. Results were published in the British Journal of Plastic Surgery and the South African Medical Journal. In both studies TCA was found to be a safe, simple and effective tattoo removal agent with an 85% success rate. It was first mentioned as a possible tattoo removal agent in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1928.
The process behind the most popular tattoo removal methods is actually very simple. A controlled inflammation is generated on the surface of the skin above the tattoo. This inflammation causes the pigment (ink) to naturally break apart and migrate to the surface with new skin growth. Your body actually does most of the work. Doctors agree that generating this controlled inflammation repeatedly over time is what it takes to fade or remove a tattoo. TCA is the gentlest way known to generate the controlled inflammation necessary for tattoo removal and it can be done in the privacy of our homes.
Some people say it has a mild sting, others say it doesn’t sting at all. It doesn’t hurt nearly as much as getting the tattoo and certainly not as much as laser tattoo removal. Ladies using TCA for facial peels will occasionally use a hand-held fan to cool themselves. If you are uncomfortable with the feeling, you can always stop it by applying the neutralizer.
No it is not. TCA looks and feels like water and is applied with a q-tip exactly where you want it to go. TCA has also been medically proven twice to remove tattoos and the creams have not. Many tattoo removal creams contain Hydroquinone, which is usually the active ingredient in skin bleaching creams. Over the counter sales of skin bleaching creams containing Hydroquinone are banned in the UK, France, Australia, Japan and several other countries because Hydroquinone is known to cause cancer and a debilitating skin disease called Exogenous Ochronosis.
In August 2006 the FDA proposed a similar ban on over the counter sales of Hydroquinone in US markets. If/when the FDA’s proposed ban is made law, tattoo removal creams containing Hydroquinone will be taken off the market. There is no Hydroquinone in TCA.
TCA gives us a medically proven solution to tattoo removal that can be done in the privacy of our homes and at a cost affordable to most people.
Risks associated with 12% – 25% TCA are less than those encountered by laser tattoo removal. There is no scarring using the concentrations mentioned in combination with our instructions. A slight redness over the treatment area may persist for several weeks or months and then fade away. Hypopigmentation is a common byproduct of laser and TCA tattoo removal and may be of particular concern for dark-complected people. If you have an existing skin condition, speak with your physician before using TCA.
You should apply TCA approximately once every six weeks. After applying the TCA it takes roughly two weeks for the treated skin to begin to peel. Once peeling begins it takes about one week for all the dead skin to come off. After the dead skin has come off you’ll want to rest the area for another two or three weeks before starting your next peel.
The instructions included with your purchase take you step by step through the application and peel cycle. Nothing has been left to chance. Plus you can always call or email us if you have additional questions.
Many TCA users have seen a noticeable reduction in brilliance (color) after the first few applications. You may also see a softening of the borders and fine lines during this period. In some cases very fine lines may be removed after the first application. The time required depends on the depth of the peel achieved and the specifics of the tattoo.
Laser tattoo removal generates a controlled inflammation to the skin using heat. TCA tattoo removal generates a controlled inflammation to the skin using a chemical. Both work.
InkBusters.com sells one ounce of medical grade 50% TCA for $9.95. That should be more than enough to radically fade or remove most 3”x3” tattoos of any color. For larger or multiple tattoos, InkBusters.com sells two ounces of medical grade 50% TCA for $14.95. Please visit our store for more details.
While there are no medical studies we know of saying not to use TCA while pregnant or breast-feeding, InkBusters.com does not recommend it. Even though TCA has been around over 165 years and it’s risks should be well known, we encourage you to wait until you are no longer pregnant or breast-feeding before using TCA.
While using TCA you should keep the treated area covered whenever you’re outdoors. New skin is photosensitive––meaning more subject to sun damage––so it should always be protected with a strong sun block and appropriate clothing while outdoors. Working out is not a problem as long as the treatment area isn’t getting rubbed on by clothing, exercise equipment or twisted/pulled by a particular movement.
Unlike laser tattoo removal TCA works equally well on all colors. We are not sure why this is, but the greens, blues, oranges, yellows and other laser resistant colors are not a problem for TCA users. TCA may also work better than lasers when removing ankle bracelet tattoos. It may have to do with the relative lack of blood flow and tissue in that region.
If you’re considering laser tattoo removal you can reduce the cost by up to 60% by fading your tattoo first using TCA. Fewer visits to the doctor’s office mean lower costs and less pain.
It’s impossible to know how long it will take until two possibly three treatments are complete. The depth the ink was applied, the type of ink used and the age of the tattoo all play a role in the removal process. Even our own bodies have a say in how long it will take. This is the most frequently asked question in tattoo removal and it can’t be answered with any precision.
Yes, many of our customers use TCA to fade existing tattoos before getting their cover up. TCA users regularly fade black tribal tattoos to a lighter shade of gray, giving them a much wider selection of colors for the new tattoo.
Generally speaking, newer tattoos will come off easier than older ones. However, some inks used today are highly resistant to any form of removal. Conversely, older tattoo inks sometimes come out very quickly with little effort. Some InkBusters.com customers report they’ve successfully removed 30-35 year old tattoos using TCA.