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Dermatology Online Journal

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Cosmetic tattoo pigment reaction


BackgroundCutaneous reactions to tattoos are most commonly granulomatous or lichenoid.

PurposeWe describe a woman who developed a lymphocytic reaction following a cosmetic tattoo procedure with black dye. The reaction occurred not only at the site of the tattoos (eyebrows and eyelash lines), but also in non-tattooed skin (bilateral malar cheeks).

Methods and MaterialsWe reviewed PubMed for the following terms: cosmetic, dye, granuloma, granulomatous, lichenoid, lymphocytic, perivascular, pigment, pseudolymphoma, reaction, and tattoo. We also reviewed papers containing these terms and their references.

ResultsHistopathologic examination of the left eyebrow and left cheek punch biopsies showed predominantly a perivascular lymphocytic reaction secondary to exogenous tattoo pigment.

ConclusionsPerivascular lymphocytic reaction is an uncommonly described complication of tattooing. Our patient had an atypical presentation since she had no prior tattoos, became symptomatic only a few days after the procedure, reacted to black dye, and involved skin both within and outside the confines of the tattoos. Her symptoms and lesions resolved after treatment with systemic and topical corticosteroids and oral antihistamines.

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