Imiquimod Cream is Not Effective in Tattoo Removal

I routinely get asked the question “What else can I do in between PicoSure treatments to make my tattoo ink clear faster?”  My answer is that cupping therapy is the only thing that’s been shown to effectively help remove tattoo ink during the course of PicoSure laser treatments (please see my cupping therapy results and articles).  Researchers have looked at several other possible therapies that might speed up or improve the process of laser tattoo removal but unfortunately these have all run into dead ends.  One such clinical trial explored the use of a prescription-only topical agent called Imiquimod cream which is an immune response modifier.  Imiquimod is sold under the brand names Aldara and Zyclara and is used primarily to treat genital warts and certain skin cancers.

In 2007 Ricotti, C.A. et al wrote a paper involving a clinical trial with Imiquimod cream as an adjunct therapy to laser tattoo removal.  The study involved 19 patients and the conclusions were that Imiquimod cream did not produce a significant improvement in ink clearance.  Since Imiquimod cream has been proven useless in tattoo removal and it is a powerful drug capable of causing serious unwanted side effects, including scarring, pain, inflammation and dermatitis, it is never prescribed for our tattoo removal patients.  For now, we exclusively utilize the PicoSure™ laser on all of our tattoo removals and our clinical success rate and results are quite amazing.  No high risk adjunct therapies are required due to the outright effectiveness of the picosecond pulse at creating a PressureWave™ capable of breaking up even the toughest of ink.

If and when another effective adjunct therapy is discovered and the appropriate clinical trials are conducted, we will implement it at that time.  Until then, the safest, most effective method for tattoo removal is the PicoSure laser in the hands of a skilled clinician with cupping therapy used in between.  Patients must understand that tattoo removal is a process that can take many months to complete but when it’s performed correctly, the results can be beautiful.  If you would like to discuss your potential options and strategies for laser tattoo removal with PicoSure, I can be reached  by phone @ 512-479-9997  or just stop by my NEW location in Austin, TX:  Austin Medspa on W. 6th St.

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