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Cutaneous Malignancies in Tattoos, a Case Series of Six Patients

1
Department of Dermatology, St. Nikolaus Hospital, 4700 Eupen, Belgium
2
Department of Dermatology and Allergology, RWTH Aachen University, 52074 Aachen, Germany
3
Institute of Pathology, RWTH Aachen University, 52074 Aachen, Germany
4
Academic Tattoo Clinic Amsterdam, Department of Dermatology and Allergology, Amsterdam UMC, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands
5
Tattoo Clinic (Tattoo Poli), Department of Dermatology, Alrijne Ziekenhuis Leiden, 2334 CK Leiden, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Curr. Oncol. 2021, 28(6), 4721-4737; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol28060398
Received: 21 September 2021 / Revised: 4 November 2021 / Accepted: 9 November 2021 / Published: 15 November 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Dermato-Oncology)
Background: A variety of side effects following the tattooing of the skin were reported over the years. Analytical studies showed that some tattoo inks contain harmful compounds. Methods: We presented six patient cases with cutaneous malignancies in tattooed skin and performed an extensive literature research. Results: Two patients with black ink tattoos that were diagnosed with malignant melanoma raises the number of described cases to 36 patients. One of the patients developed an immunologic reaction limited to the tattoo area after treatment with a targeted immune therapy. In the other patient, the malignancy (malignant melanoma) was fatal. Basal cell carcinoma was seen in four patients with tattoos containing varying ink colors (black, green, red). This increased the number of described patient cases to 18. Although some ink components and their cleavage products have carcinogenic properties, epidemiological evidence for a causative correlation fails. Further epidemiologic studies on tattoos and malignancies, as well as on the appearance of naevi in tattoos, are necessary. Determining the type of mutation might be helpful to separate sun-induced tumors from skin cancers due to other pathogenic mechanisms. View Full-Text
Keywords: tattoo; tattoo ink; melanoma; basal cell carcinoma; squamous cell carcinoma; polyaromatic hydrocarbons; tumor promotion; endocrine disruptors tattoo; tattoo ink; melanoma; basal cell carcinoma; squamous cell carcinoma; polyaromatic hydrocarbons; tumor promotion; endocrine disruptors
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MDPI and ACS Style

Leijs, M.; Schaefer, H.; Rübben, A.; Cacchi, C.; Rustemeyer, T.; van der Bent, S. Cutaneous Malignancies in Tattoos, a Case Series of Six Patients. Curr. Oncol. 2021, 28, 4721-4737. https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol28060398

AMA Style

Leijs M, Schaefer H, Rübben A, Cacchi C, Rustemeyer T, van der Bent S. Cutaneous Malignancies in Tattoos, a Case Series of Six Patients. Current Oncology. 2021; 28(6):4721-4737. https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol28060398

Chicago/Turabian Style

Leijs, Marike, Hannah Schaefer, Albert Rübben, Claudio Cacchi, Thomas Rustemeyer, and Sebastiaan van der Bent. 2021. "Cutaneous Malignancies in Tattoos, a Case Series of Six Patients" Current Oncology 28, no. 6: 4721-4737. https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol28060398

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