Suffering from tattoo regret? This is the news you've been waiting for.

Image: iStock 

As someone who got a dolphin tattooed on her right hip at the tender age of 17, it won’t shock you to hear that I regret that ill-thought out decision.

It’s not that I have anything against tattoos, I love them on other people. It’s just that well… I have a dolphin on my hip.

Related: You can tattoo your eyeballs. But that doesn’t mean you should.

But there is hope for those of us suffering from tattoo regret. One Canadian student, Alec Falkenham, has developed a pain-free tattoo removal cream that costs less than six bucks.

According to The Independent, the cream works by targeting the inked white blood cells in your skin called macrophages. It essentially encourages  new cells to take over and replace the old tattooed ones, carrying the pigment away through the body’s lymph nodes, which in turn slowly fades the tattoo.

Related: How can a massive tattoo still look pretty and feminine? Like this.

As the cream is still in its testing phase – he’s been trialling it on tattooed pig’s ears with great success – Falkenham can’t yet tell how many applications it will take to completely fade, say a blue and green dolphin. But he estimates that it will only cost four cents per square centimetre – or roughly $6 for a 10-centimetre by 10-centimetre area.

Six dollars and zero pain? Sign me up. I’d be PicoSure-lasering my tattoo off right now if I wasn’t pregnant. Except my editor Jenny Valentish (who incidentally has many magnificent tattoos) disagrees, she thinks I should keep my dolphin.

Here’s how she tried to convince me to keep it via our office chat program:

 Jenny Valentish So, a dolphin is your spirit animal, right? That’s cool. I am planning on getting an ibis on my leg.

 Nicky Champ Haha! Sadly no, I have no affinity with the dolphin. It's was a spur of the moment thing.

 Jenny Valentish So it could just as easily have been an inverted cross?

 Nicky Champ I literally walked in and chose it off the wall in five minutes. I wasn't even drunk.

 Jenny Valentish But you WERE 17. Did this esteemed tattooist not check your age? 

 Nicky Champ He didn't! And it's a very reputable parlour, not far from our office now. I never got carded at pubs back then either, maybe I've always looked 100 years old. 

 Jenny Valentish If it's not far from the office you should go back and get a cover-up, not get rid of it. Nearly ALL my existing tattoos are cover-ups of shite tattoos. When you cover up a shite tattoo with another shite tattoo is when it starts to become a problem.

 Nicky Champ In theory, that sounds like an excellent idea but it's already kinda big - well, big enough to poke out of my bikini on the beach.

 Jenny Valentish Does it look like stray pubes from a distance?

 Nicky Champ No, it's circular. Think: a dolphin diving over a celtic ocean. Told you it was bad.

Jenny Valentish But that 17-year-old you is still in there somewhere. You should honour her bold choices.

Jenny Valentish CARPE DIEM. (Don’t get ‘carpe diem’ though)

Nicky Champ I had Carpe Diem on a toe ring in the 90s. It could have happened. 

Jenny Valentish But back to the dolphin. Don’t you think you would be sad if it went?

Nicky Champ Only if it left a scar worse than the original. At the moment (being 8 months pregnant) it's turning into a fat whale. It snapped back after the first time I was pregnant, but I'm not sure I'll be so lucky this time...

Jenny Valentish I'm just not sure about this miracle cream though. Is it really thought to work? Does it take out the pigmentation of your skin as well as the pigmentation of your tattoo?

Nicky Champ That's a risk I'm willing to take Jenny! I'm already a shade of bright white. I figure it can't be that bad.

Jenny Valentish The other obvious way around this is to forge a new infinity with dolphins. Sea Shepherd are always looking for volunteers.

Nicky Champ Well that's true. But maybe I could start with an inspirational poster instead? Actually I think that's how it all started. Remember those terrible motivational posters?

Jenny Valentish Yep, I do. At least you didn't get a chimp on a toilet.

Jenny Valentish Okay, Nicky, I'm starting to see your point. A dolphin-whale in a Celtic circle, bursting out of your underpants, isn't really something you can work with.

Nicky Champ I knew you'd come around.

Jenny Valentish Please report back on how poorly this cream works.

Nicky Champ Stay tuned. 


In case you're wondering, here's my tattoo in its full glory. It took me ages to get a shot where I wasn't revealing any pubes so feel free to try to convince me to keep it in the comments below, or I'll take your deathly silence as an agreement. It's okay, I'm on your side.

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