There's A Tattoo Removal Cream In The Works, But Will It Actually Work?

Heart shaped tattoo on woman's arm
Heart shaped tattoo on woman's arm

Regretting that tattoo you got a few years ago? Alec Falkenham, a researcher at Dalhousie University in Halifax, is working on a fix.

Falkenham has developed a topical cream that, as BuzzFeed explains it, clings to macrophages, or the white blood cells that absorb foreign particles, in this case, tattoo ink. Then, new macrophages move in to replace the ink-filled ones.

Unlike regular tattoo removal, which can cost upward of $75 per session and may cause inflammation, Falkenham says his cream would cost $4.50 per application on a 10-by-10-centimeter tattoo. He also says it won't cause the skin to become inflamed.

“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,” Falkenham told CBC News Canada.

So far, the cream has only been tested on pigs, and Falkenham can't say exactly when it will be available.

Dermatologist Rebecca Baxt told The Huffington Post she's not entirely sold.

"I doubt that there is a cream that has active ingredients powerful enough to penetrate the human skin, which is a very effective barrier, to remove tattoo pigment trapped inside cells," she said. "It would be great but it is unlikely to truly work. Tattoos are called permanent for a reason-- they are very hard to remove.”

Only time will tell if this cream actually works on people. But for the sake of anyone with a tattoo of their ex's name, we'll keep our fingers crossed.

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