Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery
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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 24-32

Operative treatment of severe allergic reactions to red tattoo dye: Presentation and comparison of possible surgical procedures in seven patients

1 Department of Dermatology, University Hospital – Dresden, Dresden, Germany
2 Dermatological Practice, Cologne, Germany

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Joerg Laske
Department of Dermatology, University Hospital Dresden, Fetscherstr. 74, Dresden
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/JCAS.JCAS_202_20

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Context: The treatment of allergic reactions to red tattoo dye is challenging in most cases, as local therapy often does not offer long-term improvement and laser therapy is considered relatively contraindicated by many authors owing to the risk of generalized side effects. Therefore, surgical removal of these tattoos is favored; shave excision is the method of choice, particularly for the removal of the entire dye. Aims: The aim of this article was to retrospectively analyze the best post-operative outcome after surgical removal of allergic tattoo reactions using different excision techniques. Materials and Methods: We compared the different surgical procedures performed on seven patients with single and multiple allergic tattoo reactions treated between 2013 and 2018. Results: The best aesthetic results were achieved by superficial ablation of the inflammatory reaction, partially leaving tattoo remains in the skin. Conclusion: Based on our experience with this small number of patients, a superficial removal of the tattoo without complete removal of the dye is, in most cases, sufficient to achieve healing. The remaining dye residues seem to be better tolerated by the immune system afterwards. Furthermore, the tattoo is often preserved in large parts.

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