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Student Develops Tattoo Removal Cream that Costs Pennies

What we’re trying to do is stay away from actually destroying the skin while still removing the tattoo. – Alec Falkenham, PhD Student

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Alec Falkenham is a PhD student at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada. Since the Canadian Press covered his story, it quickly went viral. No surprise, he claims he will soon be able to remove tattoo’s painlessly, with a tattoo removal cream that costs just pennies.

Finally An Alternative To Laser Tattoo Removal

Currently, the best option for tattoo removal is laser removal. This is costly, potentially painful and harmful to the skin. Each treatment costs upwards of $75 per square inch, most tattoo’s require between 3 and 6 sessions. A huge cost compared to the 11.5 cents per square inch (4.5 cents per square cm) that the cream is expected to cost.

 

The market is alive and well, with 1 in 5 Canadians having at least 1 tattoo according to a 2012 poll. Of these, roughly 10% regret getting them. The demand for a cheap, painless way to remove tattoo’s is enormous, and the solution is long over-due.

 

How the Cream Works

Being a scientist, I was very interested in how a tattoo worked,” said Alec. He took his work on heart cells and translated it to cells that contain tattoo pigment. The cream works by targeting macrophages that are filled with ink. New macrophages then move in to consume the ink-filled cells, and then migrate to the lymph nodes. Essentially getting the cellular clean-up crew (white blood cells) to clear away the tattoo ink.

So far Falkenham has only tested the cream on animals, but once he secured further funding he plans to expand his research and development of the tattoo removal cream. Hopefully ending up with a final product that is available to consumers for an extremely modest price.

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