Skin inflammatory (nontumor)
Dermal collagen and elastic tissue alterations, and cutaneous deposits
Tattoo


Topic Completed: 1 August 2011

Revised: 29 March 2019

Copyright: 2002-2019, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.

PubMed Search: Tattoo [title]
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Cite this page: Hamodat M Tattoo. PathologyOutlines.com website. http://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/skinnontumortattoo.html. Accessed June 15th, 2019.
Definition / general
  • Dye injected into dermis is phagocytosized by macrophages, which are permanent
  • Image does fade over time
  • Complications include infections introduced at time of tattooing; cutaneous diseases that localize in tattoos, often in a koebner-type phenomenon; allergic reactions to tattoo pigments and photosensitivity reactions
Treatment
  • Laser therapy
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Tattoo pigments are easily visualized in tissue sections
  • After several weeks, they localize around vessels in the upper and mid-dermis in macrophages and fibroblasts
  • Extracellular deposits of pigment are also found between collagen bundles; the pigment is generally refractile, but not doubly refractile
  • No foreign body granulomatous reaction except in presence of other severe reactions
  • Hypersensitivity reactions vary from a diffuse dermal lymphohistiocytic infiltrate with plasma cells and eosinophils, to a lichenoid reaction sometimes with associated epithelial hyperplasia
  • Sarcoidal granulomas, a granuloma annulare-like reaction, vasculitis, pseudolymphomatous patterns and scarring may be present
  • Rare features are a morphea-like reaction, epidermal spongiosis and pseudoepitheliomatous hyperplasia
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