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Sarcoidal tattoo reactions may herald internal complications

26 October, 2011

Tattoo complications are infrequently seen in any setting. From a Dermatological point of view, or most commonly encountered complication is infection. This may occur after a tattoo, or after tattoo removal. The good news is that if treated early and appropriately, no scarring is seen.

A more unusual reaction is that of a sarcoidal reaction following tattooing. This presents as lumpy areas within the tattoo. This reaction is diagnosed by a tiny biopsy, and confirmed by microscopic histology on the specimen. Once confirmed as ‘sacroidal’ in origin, a through search is made to exclude this reaction which may occur in other body systems, such as the eye and lung.

An early diagnosis can prevent long term problems.

More on Tattoo Complications.

By Dr Shobhan Manoharan and Dr Davin S. Lim