Tattoo Removal with Hydroquinone Guidelines - WorldOfChemicals

Facts That Nobody Told You About Hydroquinone For Tatoo Removal

Hydroquinone Tattoo Removal

It seems like everyone has a tattoo these days starting from kids to adults and irrespective of girls or boys. Tattoos are once sported only by sailors, outlaws, and bikers. It became popular body decoration body art for many people.

If you got a tattoo in your early 20s, and it had words embedded in it, the words may blur and become more difficult to read in your 60s. Tattoo design will not just start with anchor design but also others like skulls, battleships, school emblems to Celtic designs to personalized symbols, people have found many ways to express themselves with their tattoos.

It's true that your tattoo says who are or what you believe in, but is it something that you can easily explain to your kids or your boss? It’s wise to think about how your tattoo may be perceived by others, as it can lead to some social disruption among friends, colleagues and family members.

Now we may think about getting a nice tattoo. But before you head to the nearest tattoo shop and roll up your sleeve, there are a few important things you need to know.

But What Is a Tattoo?

A tattoo is a form of body modification, made by infusing ink, either indelible or temporary, into the dermis layer of the skin to change the pigment [Melanin pigment].

Tattoo enthusiasts may refer to tattoos as various names like "ink", "pieces", "skin art", "tattoo art", "tats", or "work"; to the creators as "tattoo artists", "tattooers", or "tattooists"; and to places where they work as "tattoo shops", "tattoo studios", or "tattoo parlors".

Tattoos have also been used for identification in other ways. Tattoos are sometimes used by forensic pathologists to help them identify burned, putrefied, or mutilated bodies. Tattoos are not restricted to humans but they also placed on animals, though rarely for decorative reasons. Preserved tattoos on ancient mummified human remain expose the fact, that tattooing has been practiced throughout the world for many centuries. 


How Is Tattooing Done?

Tattooing involves the placement of pigment into the skin's dermis [Dermis is the layer of dermal tissue underlying the epidermis], after initial injection, pigment is dispersed throughout a homogenized damaged layer down through the epidermis and upper dermis, in both of which the presence of foreign material activates the immune system's phagocytes to engulf the pigment particles. As healing proceeds, the damaged epidermis flakes away (eliminating surface pigment) while deeper in the skin granulation tissue forms, which is later converted to connective tissue by collagen growth. 

Getting a tattoo can hurt you, but the level of pain can vary. Because getting a tattoo is not a simple and smooth process as one think, instead, it involves being stuck multiple times with a sharp needle, it can feel like being stung by a hornet multiple times on your skin.

Depending on the location of the tattoo can determine the success or failure of the removal, but in most cases, they can be removed without leaving much of a mark. Tattoo studios can do removals of these tattoos. There is another way though, and that is by doing it yourself using hydroquinone cream.

Hydroquinone, also benzene-1,4-diol or quinol, is an aromatic organic compound that is a type of phenol, a derivative of benzene, having the chemical formula C6H4(OH)2. Hydroquinone has a variety of uses principally associated with its action as a reducing agent that is soluble in water. It is a major component in most black and white photographic developers for film and paper where, with the compound Metol, it reduces silver halides to elemental silver, but this is now rarely the case since most cameras are now digital.

Tattoo removal procedures have improved a lot over the last decade and things like laser removal have proven to be very effective, however, this technique can cost quite a bit of money, but for small tattoos, it may be worth looking at as an option. Home removal is big business these days with hydroquinone cream proving to be one of the best. This cream comes with different percentages of hydroquinone included, and you should always start with the lowest which is around 4%. This is to ensure you do not have any reaction to it, and for some people, they do not need the stronger creams as the lowest may remove their tattoo.


Using an organic chemical like hydroquinone does not come without risk. When you know how this chemical works you will understand why you need to be careful with it, as it removes the top layer of your skin in a chemical reaction, and it is that which can cause a severe response in some people.

When using any new chemical on your body, and that applies to makeup, facial creams, and any other of the many beauty treatments available, you should always do a skin test. This means that you apply the product to a small area of skin, usually the back of the hand, and then you leave it for 24 hours and wait to see if you have a reaction. Never apply a new product straight on to your skin without doing this test first, if you do have a reaction you may end up in hospital, whereas those who have done the test may just end up with a red mark on the back of their hand. You also need to make sure that it doesn’t cause scarring, as that may look worse than the tattoo.

The main risk with hydroquinone cream is that, as recent research has shown, that it may be responsible for causing cancer, and although the link has not yet been proven beyond doubt, the chemical is now banned in a number of countries. This research is based on the long-term use of it though, as for years it has been used as a preservative in beauty products, so for short-term tattoo removal, it should be fine.


It is recommended that once the cream has been applied you do not expose it to the sun for at least 24 hours. This is because the chemical process will be affected by UVA and UVB rays, and may cause a more severe reaction, so use a high factor sunscreen. If you have any open wounds on or near the tattoo then do not apply the cream. Do not use this cream on children, or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.


Before applying the cream all over your tattoo for the first time, do a skin patch test to make sure you don’t have an adverse reaction. Dab some of the cream on a small area and, if you don’t experience any excessive irritation after 24 hours, you can use it on your whole tattoo. Do not let the cream come in contact with broken skin, internal tissues or mucous membranes. Before you apply to your tattoo, you should clean the whole area thoroughly and dry. Rub the cream into your skin and wash your hands as soon as you are done.

Side Effects

All chemicals usually have some kind of side effect and hydroquinone cream is no different. Reported problems are dry cracking skin and a burning sensation, but these are mild and treatment should continue. If you have any allergic reactions though, treatment should stop straight away.

Using this technique for removing a tattoo can save you a lot of money, but remember that it will not completely remove the tattoo, it works best on tattoos that have already faded, or use it on light colors.

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