Tattoo removal creams and lotions often contain the ingredient TCA – or Trichloroacetic Acid. TCA is a peeling agent that doesn't require a prescription. It is used primarily in cosmetic related products for procedures such as removal of acne scars, wrinkles, and fine lines that develop with aging. Products that are able to treat these skin conditions are also good candidates for tattoo removal.

TCA has been medically proven to fade and remove tattoos and has an 85% success rate. Although it works on all skin types, people with lighter pigment usually experience better results. Although this ingredient is listed as an acid, it causes only a stinging sensation when applied to the skin according to directions. Some people report that they don't even feel that stinging sensation. You apply these gels by dabbing the acid on the skin surface with a q-tip.

The acid burns off the top layer of skin, hence removing tattoo ink. Tattoo removal products that contain TCA have been medically proven to perform better than products without TCA. The problem is the possible consequences are more serious.

TCA is efficient in removing tattoo ink but also carries the most risk of adverse results like scarring. For this reason, products with TCA are not usually recommended for tattoo removal in areas near the lips and eyes. A redness may also appear in the area that you're treating. This may last for weeks and possibly months. It's a common side effect of TCA tattoo removal and is known as hypopigmentation.

Instructions for applying any product to your skin, especially a product that contains an acid such as TCA, should be followed to the letter. Instructions to be followed include diluting the mixture with distilled water. This ensures that the product is safe for applying to the surface of your skin. If not followed, the acid will surely irritate your skin and possibly cause a painful burning sensation. You will also be at a higher risk of scarring.

So, although tattoo removal gels and creams containing the product TCA tend to produce faster and more thorough results than products that are lacking this ingredient, it also carries more risks. If instructions are not strictly followed, the consequences, such as scarring, can be permanent.

If you are considering using a product with TCA to remove or fade your tattoos, consult with your doctor beforehand. Your physician is the best person to determine if a TCA product is right for your skin type. TCA can be a dangerous product and use of any gel or tattoo removal cream with this ingredient should not be used without care and caution.