Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

Dermatology Online Journal

Dermatology Online Journal bannerUC Davis

Graphite oral tattoo: case report


Pigmented oral lesions compose a large number of pathological entities, including exogenous pigmentat oral tattoos, such as amalgam and graphite tattoos. We report a rare case of a graphite tattoo on the palate of a 62-year-old patient with a history of pencil injury, compare it with amalgam tattoos, and determine the prevalence of oral tattoos in our Oral Pathology Service. We also compare the clinical and histological findings of grafite and amalgam tattoos. Oral tattoos affect women more frequently in the region of the alveolar ridge. Graphite tattoos occur in younger patients when compared with the amalgam type. Histologically, amalgam lesions represent impregnation of the reticular fibers of vessels and nerves with silver, whereas in cases of graphite tattoos, this impregnation is not observed, but it is common to observe a granulomatous inflammatory response, less evident in cases of amalgam tattoos. Both types of lesions require no treatment, but in some cases a biopsy may be done to rule out melanocytic lesions.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View