Warning: Graphic Photos Inside
Anyone in the tattoo industry will tell you that laser tattoo removal procedures are costly, time consuming and painful. While it may have taken fifteen minutes for you to get your ex's name inked on your skin, it can take on average 6-12 laser sessions to remove the tattoo. And with each session costing between $250-$500 per session, the expense of removing a tattoo can add up quickly. Many people aren't able to afford these kinds of procedures or they are looking for a "quick, cheap, and painless fix," thus over the last few years we have seen several instances of people attempting to remove their tattoos at home with disastrous results.
Jess Hardy, a 23-year-old mother from the UK, has recently made headlines for her decision to try out an at home tattoo removal kit, which was advertised as an acid peeling kit that successfully removed tattoos for under $23. Unfortunately, Hardy's tattoo removal was anything but successful.
"It kind of felt like somebody had poured hot water over me. It was as if my skin was just coming off every time I looked at it," Hardy remarked when she appeared on UK's Channel 5 show, Tattoo Disasters, in early 2015.
The tattoo removal that Hardy purchased contained a corrosive chemical known as TCA, which has been banned from cosmetics as it can lead to chemical burns and is linked to causing cancer. The Charted Trading Standards Institute of the UK warns consumers who may be interested in this product, yet most tattoo artists and tattoo removal specialists would agree that these at home removal remedies are not worth the risks that they present to your health.
Professionals within the tattoo industry would agree that these at home remedies for tattoo removal fall under the same category as at home or unlicensed tattoo artists, in other words, they should be avoided at all costs. Cases like Hardy's only further emphasize the importance of regulating illegal artists and that when it comes to tattoos, seeking out a professional is essential. Good tattoos aren't cheap and cheap tattoos aren't good, and the same principle can go for tattoo removal. If you are desperate to remove a tattoo from your body in a healthy and effective way, spending money on a reputable laser procedure is the price you have to pay. In addition, the more tattoo removal is regulated and horror stories like Hardy's are shared on social media, the less likely a client will go to an unlicensed artist for a cheap tattoo.