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Dermatol Surg. 2002 Jan;28(1):95-6.

Areolar cosmetic tattoo ink darkening: a complication of Q-switched alexandrite laser treatment.

Author information

1
Department of Dermatology, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan, College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE:

Medical tattooing of the areola is widely performed in Korea. However, cosmetic tattoos containing flesh-tone, purple-red, and yellow dyes are sometimes resistant to Q-switched laser and may even become darker.

METHOD:

Two Korean women in their 30s who had a mastectomy got light brown to red areolar medical tattoos but they were not satisfied with the shape and size of the tattoos. They underwent Q-switched alexandrite laser treatment with a 3 mm collimated beam at fluences of 7.5-8 J/cm2 in order to trim the irregular contour and reduce the diameter of the tattoos.

RESULTS:

Within 5 minutes a dark gray to black discoloration of the treated area was evident and remained dark for 6 weeks. Improvement was not noted after two further Q-switched Nd:YAG laser treatments.

CONCLUSION:

Medical areolar tattoos should be approached with extra caution when attempting their removal with high-energy pulsed lasers such as Q-switched alexandrite laser and a small test site should be performed prior to treatment.

PMID:
11991280
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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