Does tattoo removal cream work?

Updated July 19, 2017

As constant reminders of ex-lovers or former gang affiliations, tattoos can prevent one from advancing both personally and professionally. Tattoo removal creams are an intriguing method for getting rid of unwanted ink, but do they work?


Before laser surgery there were few options for tattoo removal. Excision, in which the tattoo is cut away, and extreme dermabrasion are painful and may cause extreme scarring.


Tattoo removal creams retail under brand names such as Tattoo-Off, Tat B Gone, Wrecking Balm, and Profade for £74 to £97 per two-month supply. These multi-step topical solutions are meant to break down ink without pain or scarring. All require several months of regular use.


Tattoos are meant to be permanent but most fade over time due to age and sun exposure. Products containing aloe are also thought to contribute to fading.


If one is looking to cover up an old tattoo with a new one, removal creams could be an excellent tool in preparing the skin to receive a new design.


There are many online testimonials from users of these creams, ranging from ringing endorsements to accusations of fraud. Finding proof that such products will completely remove a tattoo is more difficult. Consumers should be wary.

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About the Author

J.Stephen Brantley is a freelance writer and playwright whose work has been produced across the United States. He's a graduate of NYU who has written professionally for 20 years. Brantley lives in New York, is a member of the Dramatists Guild, and writes for a variety of non-profit organizations.