Abstract Many different types of allergic reactions developing at the site of tattoos have been recorded. Many pigments or dyes have been used in tattooing the different colors into the skin. The most commonly reported reactions have been sensitivity reactions due to mercury. Cinnabar which is red mercuric sulfide, also known as vermilion or Chinese red, is almost always used to produce the red color of tattoos. It is a brilliant red powder which is insoluble in water and dilute acids and is prepared by a process of sublimation of sulfur and mercury. Cadmium selenide (cadmium red) and sienna (ferric hydrate) are also used for red colors. Different authors1-5 have attempted to categorize the various types of tattoo reactions. Fundamentally, they have been grouped into 5 different types of reaction. The first reaction to be considered is the acute constant inflammatory reaction associated with physical tissue injury. This usually subsides References 1. Beerman, H., and Lane, R. A. G.: Tattoo , Amer. J. Med. Sci. 227:444, 1954.Crossref 2. Rook, A. J., and Thomas, P. J. B.: Social and Medical Aspects of Tattooing , Practitioner 169: 60, 1952. 3. Madden, J. F.: Reactions in Tattoos , Arch. Derm. Syph. 60: 789, 1949.Crossref 4. Rostenberg, A., Jr.; Brown, R. A., and Caro, M. R.: Discussion of Tattoo Reactions with Report of Case Showing Reaction to Green Color , Arch. Derm. Syph. 62:540, 1950.Crossref 5. Lubeck, G., and Epstein, E.: Complications of Tattooing , Calif. Med. 76:83, 1952. 6. Porrit, R. J., and Olsen, R. E.: Two Simultaneous Cases of Leprosy Developing in Tattoos , Amer. J. Path. 23:805, 1947. 7. Smith, B. F.: Occurrence of Hepatitis in Recently Tattooed Service Personnel , J.A.M.A. 144:1074, 1950.Crossref 8. Rukstinat, G. J.: Tattoos , Arch. Path. 31: 640, 1941. 9. Dore, S. E.: Brit. J. Derm. 30:22, 1918.Crossref 10. Wilde, A. G.: Vaccinia Infected Tattoo , New Orleans Med. Surg. J. 82:385, 1929. 11. Rook, A. J., and Thomas, P. J. B.: Lupus Erythematosus , Proc. Roy. Soc. Med. 44:878, 1951. 12. Ballin, D. B.: Cutaneous Hypersensitivity to Mercury from Tattooing , Arch. Derm. Syph. 27: 292, 1933.Crossref 13. Sulzberger, M. B.; Kanof, A., and Baer, R. L.: Complications Following Tattooing , U.S. Nav. Med. Bull. 43:889, 1943. 14. Swinny, B.: Generalized Chronic Dermatitis Due to Tattoo , Ann. Allergy 4:295, 1946. 15. Loewenthal, L. J. A.: Reactions in Green Tattoos , Arch. Derm. 82:237, 1960.Crossref 16. Madden, J. F.: Reactions in Tattoos , Arch. Derm. Syph. 40:256, 1939.Crossref 17. Auger, C.: Cancer sur tatouage et cancer sur cicatrice de vaccination antivariolique , Laval Med. 8:300, 1943. 18. Sharlit, H.: Melanoma Caused by Indelible Pencil , Arch. Derm. Syph. 37:301, 1938.Crossref 19. Watkins, D. B.: Viral Disease in Tattoos: Verruca Vulgaris , Arch. Derm. 84:306, 1961.Crossref 20. Lane, R. A. G.; Beerman, H., and Mescon, H.: Mercurial Granuloma Occurring in a Tattoo , Canad. Med. Ass. J. 70:546, 1954. 21. Shelley, W. B., and Hurley, H. J.: The Allergic Origin of Zirconium Deodorant Granulomas , Brit. J. Derm. 70:75, 1958.Crossref 22. Shelley, W. B.; Hurley, H. J.; Mayock, R. L.; Close, H. P., and Cathcart, R. T.: Intradermal Tests with Metals and Other Inorganic Elements in Sarcoidosis and Anthraco-Silicosis , J. Invest. Derm. 31:301, 1958.Crossref 23. Sneddon, I. B.: Berylliosis: A Case Report , Brit. Med. J. 1:1448, 1955.Crossref
Archives of Dermatology – American Medical Association
Published: Sep 1, 1962
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