Years ago, tattoo removal was a new process that was feared, and many were skeptical of — now, there are even creams that claim to have the properties to remove a tattoo. Thanks to major advances in laser technology, more and more people are able to take matters into their own hands when it comes to removing a regretted tattoo.

While laser treatments are performed by professionals, these creams make promises that you should be wary of if you are looking to remove your tattoo safely and with minimal side effects.

You can click here to learn about the professional options available for effective tattoo removal — these treatments are administered by professionals and are more reputable than a cream that hasn’t even been approved by the FDA.

These creams aren’t regulated and provide false promises. At best, these creams slightly reduce the appearance of your tattoo. In an interview with The Today Show, tattoo artist Dillon Forte raised the point that tattoo creams have been on the market for at least a decade, but have yet to find any popularity.

If you are looking to remove a tattoo, it’s best to consult a professional. These are the main reasons why you’re going to want to stay away from tattoo creams:

False Promises

According to Healthline, tattoo removal creams often promise to remove your tattoo by either peeling away your skin’s top layer or replacing the white blood cells in your skin that are filled with tattoo ink. Of course, there’s a lot to be said about the chemical in these creams that are intended to peel away your skin.

The truth is that when you get a tattoo, the ink is so deep in your skin that peeling or bleaching a layer won’t get deep enough into your skin to remove this ink. At most, it will slightly fade it — and tattoos fade with age regardless.

They Use Chemicals

Tattoo removal creams are usually made with chemicals like trichloroacetic acid, a peeling agent. Truth be told, these creams, due to such strong chemicals meant to peel or bleach your skin, can have pretty prominent side effects ranging from scarring to inflammation.

They Aren’t FD Approved

 While trichloroacetic acid is FDA approved for professional skin treatments, it’s not approved for use in cream.

Trichloroacetic acid is a strong chemical that is risky to use unsupervised without a professional. Actually, according to Healthline, the FDA hasn’t approved any tattoo removal creams on the market.

Side Effects

According to Inked Mag, these strong creams are a scam at best and come with a long list of side effects. The main side effects experienced after using a tattoo removal cream can include:

  • Burning
  • Itching
  • Irritation
  • Skin Discoloration
  • Allergic reaction

Tattoo creams are attractive because they promise a quick fix, an alternative to the lengthier process of laser tattoo removal. That being said, the perceived quick fix comes with a wide range of aforementioned risks while laser tattoo removal is a proven, effective method.

The treatment is often performed by medical professionals, which is a safer than utilizing a cream with strong chemicals on your own volition without supervision from a tattoo removal specialist. Before opting for tattoo removal creams, talk to a professional to weigh your options.