Allergic Reaction to Tattoo

September 14, 2005
Alan B. Schliftman, MD

After exposure to the sun, an erythematous, edematous, pruritic allergic reaction developed at the site of a 22-year-old man's new tattoo.

After exposure to the sun, an erythematous, edematous, pruritic allergic reaction developed at the site of a 22-year-old man's new tattoo. In addition to photoallergy-as seen in this patient-direct allergy to the dyes in the tattoo can produce an adverse reaction.

Complete removal of the pigment using either excisional surgery or carbon dioxide laser is required. Nd:YAG laser or alexandrite laser may not remove all the pigment. The patient underwent carbon dioxide laser tattoo removal with good results

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