What the red tattoo ink hides

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Title: What the red stain of the tattoo hides
Overview: Original Article in Spanish

The authors present a case report of a 14 year old boy who began to develop papules and hyperkeratotic nodules in the areas of the tattoo impregnated with red ink within two weeks after being tattooed. Photographs of the skin reaction, Doppler skin ultrasound and histopathology images are provided in the report.

Industry Significance Rating: Medium - Industry wide monitoring is recommended.
Publication: Anales de Pediatría (Barc) [Spanish Association of Paediatrics]. 05/02/2018.
Authors: Ruiz-Villaverde R, Cuenca-Barrales C, Aguayo-Carreras P.
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Age restrictions for tattooing differ markedly across the European region presently in Spain it appears that a juvenile is able to undergo tattooing as young as the age of 14-16 with parental consent in some parts of the country.

Ruiz-Villaverde et al. note in this case that "Inflammatory reactions to tattoo inks can adopt very different clinical forms: hyperkeratotic, nodular, plaque, exudative, ulcero-necrotic, and may have a period of latency varying from weeks, months or years". For this reason tattoo technicians should not attempt to diagnose or determine the significance of inflammatory skin reactions on or near tattoos as this requires medical expertice.


Clients who develop skin reactions on or near a tattoo should be referred to the clients treating doctors for evaluation.


Medical Report, body art tattoo, red ink, juvenile tattooing, lymphohistiocytic inflammatory reaction


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