Using Glycolic Acid to Remove an Eyebrow Tattoo

Hello, I recently had my eyebrows embroidered and the results were pretty bad. The eyebrows became too close together and the part where the eyebrows begin are differently shaped. I look crazy. I went to a cosmetic dermatology office the other day  that also deals with tattoo removal and they suggested that I treat the area with 20% glycolic acid to help lift the color. and to gently massage the area with gauze morning and night so that the pigment does not set in. What is your opinion on this regimen? I am worried that I am going to have a perma scowl even if the color does lighten. They said if the glycolic doesn’t work they can try lasering it off. What do you think?

Glycolic acid is formulated in various concentrations and pH levels in a wide variety of skin care products, both OTC and prescription. Its function is to improve the skin’s appearance and texture by weakening the binding properties of the lipids that hold together the dead skin cells in the upper layer of the epidermis called the stratum corneum to reveal new living skin cells below.

In other words, glycolic acid functions to exfoliate the skin, which makes it a common key ingredient in many chemical peels. While physician-strength office peels can be strong enough to completely exfoliate the epidermis to address concerns such as fine lines, hyperpigmentation, actinic keratosis, and many other skin conditions related to sun-damage, it is unable to successfully remove tattoo ink from healed skin because the ink is typically deposited in the dermal layer of the skin.

Depending on its pH level, glycolic acid can be a strong irritant to the skin, particularly in skins higher on the Fitzpatrick scale (i.e., darker) which tend to be more sensitive to skin altering and skin penetrating agents. Temporary side effects of the topical use of glycolic acid for exfoliation can include stinging, irritation, peeling, redness, and in extreme cases even infection and scarring. Despite the strong sensations it can have on skin, using glycolic acid topically for the purposes of tattoo removal is still a less than effective solution.


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