23-year-old Jess Hardy wanted to remove a tattoo that featured her ex-boyfriend’s name. In an attempt to save a few hundred dollars, Jess elected to skip a professional laser treatment. Instead, she bought a “tattoo removal kit” online. The advertised kit was cheap (approximately $20). Not only that, but she could use it at home!
The kit didn’t just remove her tattoo…it also burned away her skin.
After a normal tattoo removal procedure, this is what a person’s skin should look like.
This is what Jess’s arm looked like after using the kit.
The chemical in the kit, TCA, is extremely corrosive. It burned away her skin and left a hole in her arm.
(via BBC Inside Out)
Although TCA (trichloroacetic acid) does remove a tattoo, it should not be a method used by amateurs at home. There are other ways to remove or lessen the appearance of a tattoo: laser tattoo removal, dermabrasion, salabrasion (scrubbing the skin with salt), cryosurgery, and excision.
Buyers beware: if something online sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Don’t make the mistake Jess did and burn a hole through your arm (literally or figuratively).