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Dermatology Online Journal

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Rapid response of tattoo-associated cutaneous sarcoidosis to minocycline: case report and review of the literature


Importance: Cutaneous sarcoidosis can present in pre-existing tattoos. Previous reports suggest modest improvement with systemic or topical corticosteroids or other immunomodulating medications. Tetracyclines have anti-inflammatory properties and have been shown to be efficacious in non-tattoo associated cutaneous sarcoidosis. The pharmacology of minocycline suggests that its higher concentration in the skin may improve its efficacy in the treatment of cutaneous granulomas.Case Report: We present a case of a 35-year-old man with a history of pulmonary sarcoidosis who developed raised plaques within tattoos present for over 10 years. Skin biopsy findings revealed non-caseating granulomas consistent with cutaneous sarcoidosis. The patient was started on minocycline 100mg twice daily and had resolution of pruritus in four days and improvement of sarcoidal plaques within one week.Conclusions: To our knowledge, this is the first report of cutaneous sarcoidosis in tattoos treated with minocycline. Our patient’s rapid response to minocycline suggests that minocycline may be a quickly effective medication for cutaneous sarcoidosis and should be considered as a therapeutic option given its favorable side-effect profile.

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