A woman’s graphic warning for an inexpensive at-home tattoo removal method went viral (video below).
Jessica Hardy, a 23-year-old woman from Hereford, England, broke up with her boyfriend and subsequently decided to have a tattoo that included his name removed. Because traditional methods of removal are expensive, Hardy chose an at-home removal kit that cost about $23.
After receiving the kit in the mail, Hardy applied pure acid on her arm to get the tattoo off.
“It felt like someone had poured something flammable on my arm, lit it and then poured a kettle on it,” Hardy told BBC, according to The Huffington Post UK.
WARNING: Graphic images.
Hardy later realized the chemical used in the kit was corrosive, and it ate away at the skin on her arm where the tattoo was. The main ingredient in the kit was trichloroacetic acid (TCA), commonly used by professionals for cosmetic peels, The Huffington Post UK reported.
“It did say, 'Use part water and part acid,' but I just put it on,” Hardy said. She thought the undiluted acid would make the removal process quicker.
Despite the painful experience, Hardy did the treatment another six times.
“I regret doing the acid now as I have made [the] process slower,” she told Channel 5, according to The Huffington Post UK.
Dr. Megan Henderson, chief plastic surgery resident at Southern Illinois University, said the only safe removal for tattoos is by laser. She admitted the procedure is costly and time-consuming but insisted it's “worth it.”
“Any over-the-counter product claiming to remove a tattoo at home is either not going to do anything for you or potentially contains such caustic substances that will surely result in permanent surrounding skin damage,” Henderson said.