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If you want to have a tattoo removed without doing expensive and painful laser surgery, you might consider using a TCA peel. TCA is an acid which is relatively easy to apply to the skin. It causes skin peeling and sloughing. If you use this method regularly, after a few months, the tattoo will begin to fade and eventually vanish.

Purchase a TCA peel. You can find these in various tattoo shops and online venues such as eBay or Amazon. Check the ingredients to determine what percentage of the product is actual TCA acid. If the percentage is 10 percent or higher, the peel may be too strong to use without doing damage to your skin. Be aware that a 10 percent peel may make your skin rough and raw for a few days.

Wash the tattooed area. Use a soft washcloth and hypo-allergenic soap. Wash with clean, warm water and then dry the skin with soft cloth.

Brush the TCA peel onto the tattooed area of your skin with a small paintbrush. Thinly coat the area with the solution and allow it to dry for at least 10 minutes before touching it again. After 10 minutes, you may wash off the peel with lukewarm water. The area may itch while the solution is setting in. This is normal.

Re-apply the TCA peel to the tattooed area every four to six weeks. Wait until the skin has stopped peeling from the previous application before re-applying. This process takes time, since you are technically shedding layers of your skin. Continue re-applying the peel until you are satisfied with the results.


TCA peels may only lighten the tattoo. Tattoos that are deeper into the skin may require surgery to be removed.

TCA lightens skin—even the skin around the tattoo. If you have dark skin, be aware that you might lighten the skin around the tattoo area.