A 27 year old PhD student in Canada claims to have created a tattoo removal cream which,, if it makes way to the market, could revolutionize tattoo removal. Many people suffer from ‘tattoo regret’, a term used to describe not liking a tattoo after getting themselves inked. Most tattoo removal methods available are painful and involve huge costs- often greater than getting the tat in the first place! Not to mention the numerous sittings involved.
The topical cream developed by Alex Falkenham, who is pursuing a PhD in pathology at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, could therefore revolutionize tattoo removal. The young boy is presently testing his product on the tattooed ears of pigs and claims to have got “great results”. He was proud and delighted to add that his product works especially well ink that’s more than two years old.
“When comparing it to laser-based tattoo removal, in which you see the burns, the scarring, the blisters, in this case, we’ve designed a drug that doesn’t really have much off-target effect,” said Falkenham.
Tattoos involve injecting ink into the deepest layers of the skin, which is why they do not wash off or fade away. Falkenham explains that his cream attacks the pigment of tattoos by using a technology that he’s calling Bisphosphonate Liposomal Tattoo Removal.
Falkenham’s cream releases new macrophages that essentially eat up those macrophages that have absorbed the ink.
“When new macrophages come to remove the liposome from cells that once contained pigment, they also take the pigment with them to the lymph nodes, resulting in a fading tattoo,” Falkenham shared in an article for Dalhousie University.
He estimates that the cost of removing a four-by-four inch tattoo could be as low as $4.50 with his cream. The idea, tells Falkenham, started in his mind when he got his first tattoo and was “thinking of the tattoo process from an immune point of view. Since then, I have added three more and currently don’t regret any of them — but that’s probably a reflection on me waiting until I was older.”
Falkenham has already got his product patented with the help of Dalhousie’s Industry Liaison and Innovation office. They have also received some initial funding through Springboard Atlantic and Innovacorp Early State Commercialization Fund to go ahead with the commercialization of their product.