Will 50% TCA Help Fade (But Not Remove) my Tattoo? (photo)

I plan on getting laser treatments eventually, but I'm in college right now and very low on cash. I was hoping that 50% TCA could help to somewhat fade my tattoo so that I wouldn't have to undergo as many laser treatments. Is this possible?

Doctor Answers 4

TCA peel for tattoo

A TCA peel will not improve the tattoo.

It will not reduce the laser treatments you will need.

It risks permanent unsightly scarring. 

If you are planning to do it to yourself - don't.

Hard as it is - live with the tattoo. Cover it with camouflage make up. Save for 6-10 Q switch ND Yag laser treatments. If you are in college, chances are you are young.

Life will be ok - just give it time.

Best wishes.

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

TCA for tattoos

Do not use TCA to treat your tattoo!!  You will be at high risk for deep dermal scarring which is even worse than a tattoo.  Use some camoflage makeup now like (CoverMark or Dermablend), save your $$ and find a doctor who uses Q switch YAG laser to treat your type of tattoo.  Good luck!

Steven Swengel, MD
Los Gatos Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews


A TCA peel will have no effect on your tattoo whatsoever. Save your time and money for a laser in the future. If a doctor recommended the TCA, do not go back to that doctor.

Armin Moshyedi, MD
Bethesda Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Will TCA peel help fade tattoo?

I do not believe that a TCA peel would have any effect on your tattoo.  The peel would not penetrate deep enough to the level of the ink from your tattoo and even if it did, I don't think it would lessen the ink pigment.  I would wait until you have enough money saved up and undergo the laser removal.  It's more effective and safer.  

Michael I. Echavez, MD
San Francisco Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.