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01.05.2015 | short report | Ausgabe 9-10/2015

Wiener Medizinische Wochenschrift 9-10/2015

Depigmentation and hypertrophic scars after application of a fluid lactic acid tattoo eraser

Wiener Medizinische Wochenschrift > Ausgabe 9-10/2015
MD Prof. Dr. Uwe Wollina



Tattoo removal is often requested by patients. The gold standard is laser tattoo removal that can be time- and cost-intensive. Therefore, safe alternatives without lasers, pain, and scars would be desirable.


We wanted to address safety of chemical tattoo erasers.


We report a case of depigmentation and hypertrophic scars after use of a chemical tattoo eraser and searched the literature.


Chemical tattoo erasers are not only used by physicians, but also nonmedical professionals such as beauticians, tattoo artists, and others. The case report we observed and other cases from the literature suggest that lactic acid based tattoo erasers are risky. Available safety data are unsufficient to recommend such procedure as an alternative to current laser therapy.


Chemical tattoo erasers based on lactic acid may be capable to remove tattoo ink but the procedure bears safety risks of permanent adverse effects. For the safety of patients, better regulations for tattoo erasers need to be implemented. Patients need to be informed about adverse effects by such procedures.

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