A student in Nova Scotia is in the process of further testing his invention of a cream that works with the body's immune system to heal away the tattoos.
The inventor is Alex Falkenham, a Ph.D candidate in the Pathology Department, who has a few tattoos himself, and got curious about the process of how tattoos work, and if there isn't a better way to remove them besides laser removal, which can be dangerous and have long term side effects.
The technology he is working on is called Bisphosphonate Liposomal Tattoo Removal -- or BLTR for short. I'm not one to explain the science of this well, so apologies in advance, but let me try to explain how the work.
First off, tattoos are the product of injecting skin with ink or dyes. At that time, special roaming immune cells called macrophages move in to try to eat the foreign chemical and clean up the mess. But, some of them end up getting trapped in immune cells, and are only very very slowly flushed out over time, thus why tattoos fade.
The BLTR that is being invented adds a chemical to these cells, allowing the dye to be contained while the cells free themselves. Then, the lymphatic system can remove them, with extra help from fatty cells called lipids.
While there are other creams on the market already, none of them are as thoroughly backed by science as this one.
What do you think? If this technology succeeds, it could cost as little as $5 to remove a small tattoo.