A lot of people these days have body art, otherwise known as a tattoo, but sometimes our lives may take a direction that means that the tattoo is no longer required and needs to be removed. Depending on the location of the tattoo can determine the success or failure of the removal, but in most cases they can be removed without leaving much of a mark. Tattoo studios can do removals but if the staff are not fully trained it may result in some scarring, and you can expect to pay around $250 to $1000, although it will depend on the size. There is another way though, and that is by doing it yourself using hydroquinone cream.
Hydroquinone is also known as benzene 1.4-diol, which is part of the phenol class of chemicals and is an organic compound. It was used a lot in the days that we had film in our cameras as part of the processing of the film, but this is now rarely the case since most cameras are now digital.
Tattoo removal procedures have improved a lot over the last decade and things like laser removal have proven to be very effective, however this technique can cost quite a bit of money, but for small tattoos it may be worth looking at as an option. Home removal is big business these days with hydroquinone cream proving to be one of the best. This cream comes with different percentages of hydroquinone included, and you should always start with the lowest which is around 4%. This is to ensure you do not have any reaction to it, and for some people they do not need the stronger creams as the lowest may remove their tattoo.
Using an organic chemical like hydroquinone does not come without risk. When you know how this chemical works you will understand why you need to be careful with it, as it removes the top layer of your skin in a chemical reaction, and it is that which can cause a severe response in some people.
When using any new chemical on your body, and that applies to makeup, facial creams, and any other of the many beauty treatments available, you should always do a skin test. This means that you apply the product to a small area of skin, usually the back of the hand, and then you leave it for 24 hours and wait to see if you have a reaction. Never apply a new product straight on to your skin without doing this test first, if you do have a reaction you may end up in hospital, whereas those who have done the test may just end up with a red mark on the back of their hand. You also need to make sure that it doesn’t cause scarring, as that may look worse than the tattoo.
The main risk with hydroquinone cream is that, as recent research has shown, that it may be responsible for causing cancer, and although the link has not yet been proven beyond doubt, the chemical is now banned in a number of countries. This research is based on the long term use of it though, as for years it has been used as a preservative in beauty products, so for short term tattoo removal it should be fine.
It is recommended that once the cream has been applied you do not expose it to the sun for at least 24 hours. This is because the chemical process will be affected by UVA and UVB rays, and may cause a more severe reaction, so use a high factor sunscreen. If you have any open wounds on or near the tattoo then do not apply the cream. Do not use this cream on children, or if you are pregnant or breast feeding.
Always read the instructions for each cream, and you should always make sure that the area of the tattoo has been cleaned properly before application, and the skin test has been completed. Although you can apply it with your fingers it is recommended you do so with disposable gloves. Otherwise if you have brown or dark skin you may end up with white patches on your fingers. If you are not using gloves then scrub your fingers straight after application. Never apply it more than the recommend dose as it will not remove the tattoo any quicker.
All chemicals usually have some kind of side effect and hydroquinone cream is no different. Reported problems are dry cracking skin and a burning sensation, but these are mild and treatment should continue. If you have any allergic reactions though, treatment should stop straight away.
Using this technique for removing a tattoo can save you a lot of money, but remember that it will not completely remove the tattoo, it works best on tattoos that have already faded, or use it on light colors. Also the smaller the tattoo, the better the results usually are.
There are, however, creams (and lotions and gels) that are effective for the removal of tattoos. These creams can be manufactured or natural and you can obtain further information about the various options by going here.