Complications of Tattooing and Scarring

  • Maria Luisa Pérez-Cotapos SEmail author
  • Christa De Cuyper
  • Roberto Cullen


Tattooing has become widespread in the Western cultures in recent years. The large spectrum of side effects related to tattooing will be reviewed in this chapter. The manifestations can be mild and localized, or severe and systemic, and transient, intermittent, or persistent, with an infectious or a noninfectious origin. More in particular chronic granulomatous reactions are a challenge for differential diagnosis and treatment. Tattoos can interfere with medical investigations and sports. Itch and photosensitivity are common complaints. Tattoo-related adverse events can disturb daily life, influence social behavior, and have an impact on quality of life comparable to chronic skin diseases. Black henna tattoos containing paraphenylenediamine are responsible for many allergic manifestations. Temporary tattoos with Genipa americana extracts cause allergic reactions. Other body-modifying techniques can result in permanent disfiguring scars. Customers, body art professionals, and healthcare practitioners should be aware of possible side effects and contraindications.


Tattoo Tattoo complications Infections Allergy Granulomatous tattoo reactions Cancer Scarring MRI Henna tattoo Paraphenylenediamine Genipa americana 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria Luisa Pérez-Cotapos S
    • 1
    Email author
  • Christa De Cuyper
    • 2
    • 3
  • Roberto Cullen
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Dermatology, Clinica Las CondesUniversity of ChileSantiagoChile
  2. 2.DermatologyBlankenbergeBelgium
  3. 3.AZ Sint-Jan Brugge-Oostende AVBruggeBelgium
  4. 4.Biostatistics and Health Data AdministrationSantiagoChile

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