It is common knowledge that tattoos are permanent, but could this become old news. There are lasers that can remove most tattoos, but a Canadian Ph.D. student has recently found a cream that could erase these works or art or maybe in your case utter catastrophe. Alec Falkenham has pitched the idea of a topical cream that discards tattoos to a pharmaceutical company. This could provide a cheap, quick, and painless form of getting back to your natural skin color.
Aren’t There Other Creams Already?
So is this a new innovation? Innovation yes, idea no. There are many unregulated creams disguising themselves tattoo removal. They basically attack your epidermis with abrasion and harmful chemicals. It’s not very effective because the ink in your tattoo is in the deeper layers of your skin. Unless, of course, your immune system responds to fight the damage the cream is doing to your skin. Sounds pretty painful, probably best to wait for Alec’s cream or stick to laser removal.
Why Are Tattoos So Hard to Remove?
Well for starters let’s begin with how they apply a tattoo. If you’ve gotten a tattoo or heard about them you know that it can be painful. What you may not know is that the pain is caused from needles filled with ink being injected into your skin thousands of times and leaving the pigment in your skin. Your immune system immediately tries to heal the wound, which is the process that solidifies the ink in your skin.
Macrophages, white blood cells, begin eating the pigment and then take is to lymph nodes to be disposed of. However, some of those cells fill with ink in the gel-like matrix on the epidermis. Once they are overtaken with ink it no longer sees it as a threat and thus we see the ink on skin.
What Treatments Are Available Now?
Laser tattoo removal is the best current treatment for gaining back your natural bare skin. They pinpoint pigments at a certain frequency and then blast them into smaller pieces so the immune system can do its job by removing the foreign bodies.
How Will The Cream Be Different?
Falkenham’s cream was found when he was doing research on healing heart tissue when he had the idea of testing it on removing tattoos. The active ingredient in his formula is bisphosphonate liposomal. This will enter the skin, find the macrophages and leave all the cells intact. After the cream kills the macrophages others will clean up the dead cells thus removing the ink. So far the product has been tested on pigs and mice. It will remove a tattoo within a week and he expects it to cost $4.50 for a three-inch-square area.
The next step is for Cipher Pharmaceuticals to begin clinical trials and approve the product. Seeing as how about one in eight American adults with tattoos regret at least one they will have plenty of participants to choose from.
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