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Eur Ann Allergy Clin Immunol. 2007 Jun;39(6):189-92.

Allergies associated with body piercing and tattoos: a report of the Allergy Vigilance Network.

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  • 1Allergy Vigilance Network, Department of Internal Medicine, Clinical Immunology and Allergology University Hospital 29 av. du MarĂ©chal de Lattre de Tassigny, 54035 Nancy.


Body piercing and tattooing are increasingly common. As well as the risk of infection and scarring, allergic reactions are also reported. This is the first multi-centre study to assess the frequency of consultations for allergy. Of the 138 allergologists who answered our two questionnaires, 7.9% reported allergic reactions associated with body piercing and 18.9% identified allergies associated with temporary henna-based tattoos. Contact eczema, rhinitis and urticaria were related to nickel allergy. Contact eczema, generalized eczema, pruritus and edema were caused by tattoos. In 20 out of 28 cases, sensitization to para-phenylenediamine (PPD) was observed. The authors review the literature, underscoring the risk of serious allergy to PPD, the need for long-term monitoring of the risk of skin lymphocytoma, the difficulties met during treatment and the necessity of regulating tattooing and body piercing practices.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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