While looking into the history of tattoo removal, we came across a similar method to the one described in last week’s post. https://askthepast.net/how-to-remove-tattoo-c-500/ has a translation of a piece by Aetius of Amida, from ‘Medicae Artis Principes’ c. 500.
Quote “They call stigmata things inscribed on the face or some other part of the body, for example on the hands of soldiers… In cases where we wish to remove such stigmata, we must use the following preparation… When applying, first clean the stigmata with niter, smear them with resin of terebinth, and bandage for five days… The stigmata are removed in twenty days, without great ulceration and without a scar.”
So we start with saltpetre (potassium nitrate), used in gunpowder, it also has a few other nasty properties, one being a skin irritant. Then onto the “resin of terebinth” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pistacia_terebinthus), the source of turpentine; also a skin irritant. Sounds great? 5 days of chemical burns and woooosh the tattoo is gone 😮
I think we’ll stick with the lasers, safer, cleaner, and we can safely say, there’s no loss of limbs 🙂