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Curr Probl Dermatol. 2017;52:139-229. doi: 10.1159/000453379. Epub 2017 Mar 10.

Atlas of Illustrative Cases of Tattoo Complications.

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The 'Tattoo Clinic', Department of Dermatology, Bispebjerg University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark.


Tattoos, and tattoo complications as well, are colorful and visually flashy. A clinical outlook provides important clues to diagnosis by pattern recognition. This atlas,which is a report of 79 case illustrations, is made as a practical tool and vade mecum for the clinician. The atlas can be used in the office and as a bedside tool. It includes characteristic photos, and each case is accompanied with a brief medical history, a comment with learning points, the final diagnosis, and a review of therapeutic options. This spectrum of cases illustrates the different diagnostic entities according to the newly proposed Bispebjerg University Hospital ('Tattoo Clinic') diagnostic system of tattoo complications, a system reported to the 11th revision of the WHO disease classification system. Cases include allergies predominantly seen in red tattoos manifesting the characteristic patterns of plaque elevation, excessive hyperkeratosis, ulcerating reactions, urticaria, and generalized skin rash. Each type of reaction has typical clues to diagnosis and a typical disease course. 'Cross-sensitivity' allergic reactions in old tattoos of the same color as the trigger tattoo are also illustrated. Reactions in black tattoos are dominated by a pattern with papulonodular reactions, which are nonallergic anddue to pigment agglomeration in the skin. Reactions may be granulomatous and a marker of systemic sarcoidosis, sometimes associated with a general outbreak in the skin in black tattoos, e.g. 'rush phenomenon'. Bacterial infections are also illustrated. The technical hazards of tattooing and sequels as well as unwanted effects of tattoo removal by lasers are shown along with severe scarring following tattoo removal by caustics. This atlas is a tutorial in modern medical and surgical treatments of tattoo complications.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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