Does TCA Chemical Peels Work for Tattoo Removal?

I've had a tattoo for about a month, which is just a simple black outline of a star. this was a tattoo i had wanted for as long as I can remember, but didn't turn out as I had imagined. I've heard black ink is the easiest to remove and creams are not recommended, but does a chemical peel work. I don't have the money for laser treatment now, nor do I want to spend thousands of dollars to get it laser removed. Will TCA at least fade the tattoo so it's not very noticeable?

Doctor Answers 3

Chemical peels will not remove tattoos

Unfortunately, chemical peels will not remove tattoos.  Lasers can sometimes, or rather, often be successful, but there is no guarantee.  You should be seen by an experienced dermatologist or surgeon for a complete evaluation.

Salt Lake City Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Tattoos are not removed by chemical peels

Unfortunately, chemical peels do not effectively remove or fade tattoos. If there would be any reduction in pigment, it would have to create a wound into the dermis and as it heals some of the pigment would be eliminated as was done years ago by salabrasion, or rubbing with large pieces of salt, and then even later, by dermabrasion a process in which doctors abraded the skin with the tattoo by spinning a sterile diamond wheel.  These processes are guaranteed to create a scar. There really isn't a way to slightly fade them with these mechanical procedures and not scar the skin. The neodynium yag or alexandrite lasers are most effective for this.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Chemical peels to remove tattoos?

A chemical peel cannot remove a professional tattoo.  If you want a tattoo removal the only technique that will work is a laser. You need to find a Q switched NdYag laser to get the best results with the black tattoo ink.  good luck.

Shawn Allen, MD
Boulder Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

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