In a recent issue of Acta Dermato-Venereologica, French dermatologists report on a 47-year-old female patient’s unusual and severe “scleroderma-like” reaction to the red-only parts of a tattoo.
The authors of the case study point out that although other kinds of skin reactions to tattooing are common, dermal sclerosis (a hardening of the skin tissue) is rare.
The woman in this case had been tattooed three other times before experiencing any kind of severe reaction. With this fourth tattoo (a red, yellow, orange, white and black “sacred heart” on her ankle), she immediately noticed unusual swelling and intense itching, and, eventually, dermal sclerosis. She did not seek medical help, however, for 18 months, even though the symptoms interfered with her daily life and her sleep. Interestingly, the patient developed a concomitant itchy reaction on the red areas of another tattoo on her back. That tattoo had been drawn by the same tattoo artist and with the same red ink 6 months before the ankle tattoo.
The authors concluded their case study report with the following remarks:
Source:Kluger N, Mathelier-Fusade P, Moguelet P. Scleroderma-like reaction restricted to the red parts of a tattoo. Acta Derm Venereol. 2009;89:95-96.