Case 1: Allergic Reaction to Tattoo

December 1, 2002
Alan B. Schliftman, MD
Alan B. Schliftman, MD

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

After exposure to the sun, an erythematous, edematous, pruritic allergicreaction developed at the site of a 22-year-old man's new tattoo. In additionto photoallergy--as seen in this patient--direct allergy to the dyes in thetattoo can produce an adverse reaction.Complete removal of the pigment using either excisional surgery orcarbon dioxide laser is required. Nd:YAG laser or alexandrite laser may notremove all the pigment. The patient underwent carbon dioxide laser tattooremoval with good results.