Cream Developed to Remove Tattoos

May 27, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. fade / feɪd/ (v.) – to slowly lose color
Example: My shirt’s color faded after it was washed.

2. consume / kənˈsum/ (v.) – to feed on or drink something
Example: He consumed the bag of chips all by himself.

3. hasten / ˈheɪ sən / (v.) – to speed something up
Example: Resting helps hasten recovery from sickness.

4. regret /rɪˈgrɛt/ (v.) – to feel sorry for doing something
Example: He regrets getting a tattoo.

5. parlor / ˈpɑr lər / (n.) – a business that offers a particular type of product or service
Example: The tattoo parlor is packed with customers.


Read the text below.
A student has developed a tattoo removal cream that does not cause any pain and is more affordable than laser removal.

Alec Falkenham, a 27-year-old PhD student, developed the cream called Bisphosphonate [bis-FOS-fen-eyt] Liposomal [LIP-uh-sohm-uh l] Tattoo Removal (BLTR). It may cost only about $4.50 for a 10-by-10 centimeter area. It is a lot cheaper than laser removal, which usually costs around $75 to $300, depending on the size.

When getting a tattoo, the ink or pigment is injected into the skin. After the injection, the skin becomes damaged. As a response, macrophages [MAK-ruh-feyj] or white blood cells that eat foreign materials rush into the damaged area to protect the surrounding tissues. Some cells that overeat the ink get stranded into the skin, causing the tattoo’s permanence. But as time passes, the tattoo fades as new macrophages replace and consume the old ones.

This is where the cream comes into the picture. Once applied, the cream will help hasten the replacement of the old macrophages. The tattoo will eventually be erased if the cream is applied regularly. And because the BLTR is just like a regular cream, it is not painful to use.

Some people might regret having a tattoo because of its permanence. But for some, the regret comes from the health hazards of getting a tattoo. Only the tattoo inks are regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration, so there is no guarantee that the procedures used by tattoo parlors are safe. 

Should the tattoo parlor be unsanitary, customers might acquire hepatitis or develop warts.  People might also get an infection if the parlor uses unsterilized tattoo tools and contaminated ink.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think the BLTR can be popular in Japan? Why or why not?
·         Based on the article, which do you think is safer: laser tattoo removal or the BLTR?

Discussion B

·         What is your country’s view on having tattoos? Kindly discuss briefly.
·         Why do you think some people want to get tattoos?

May 27, 2015