Tattoo Reaction

Homeopathic_doctor_chandigarh_tattoo reactionA tattoo is a series of puncture wounds that carry dye into different levels of the skin. Tattooing has become one of the most popular ways for accentuating body. The various medical issues are associated with tattooing, as breaking of skin barriers may cause various risk such as infection or allergic reactions. Some medical practitioners have recommended greater regulation of pigments used in tattoo ink. These wide range of pigments currently used in tattoo ink may create unforeseen health problems. But now a day’s tattooing is getting much safe as tattoo artists use proper safety measures before and after procedure like they wear gloves, use onetime use items, sterilize equipments after every use and even government has make arrangements for tattoo parlors get them self accredited through Red Cross and OSHA to ensure safe practices.

Classification of Tattoo Reaction

Acute inflammatory reactions: It is the direct response to the piercing of the skin with needles impregnated with pigment dyes. There may be transient redness and swelling of the tattooed area which subsides within 2-3 weeks.

Eczematous hypersensitivity reaction: The two common hypersensitivity reactions are allergic contact dermatitis and photo-allergic dermatitis. The reaction usually appears as an inflamed red rash or it may be scaly and flaky i.e. exfoliative dermatitia.

Photo-aggravated reaction: It is the hypersensitivity reaction of skin due to exposure to sunlight. It is mostly seen in yellow tattoos created from cadmium sulfide. There may be swelling and redness of the tattooed skin.

Granulomatous reaction: It is the reaction caused by the particular type of cells that causes reaction. As the foreign body react to pigment it causes red bumps at the site of the tattoo. UV-visible tattoos have been associated with granulomatous reactions.

Lichenoid reaction: It is the less common reaction than eczematous hypersensitivity reactions. The signs arising are similar to the lichen planus. And red pigments are responsible for lichenoid tattoo reactions.

Pseudolymphomatous reaction: It is the delayed hypersensitivity reaction to tattoo pigment. It is characterized by plum to red coloured nodules and plaques. Clinically they may appear same as cutaneous lymphomas but they are not same.

Causes of Tattoo Reaction

• Paraphenylenediamine (PPD) chemical that causes allergy.
• Allergic reaction.
• Bacterial infection
Composition of tattoo pigment colours:
• Mercury sulfide (Cinnabar)
• Ferric hydrate (sienna)
• Sandalwood
• Brazilwood
• Organic pigments (aromatic azo compounds)
• Carbon (India ink)
• Iron oxide
• Logwood
• Ferric oxide
• Colbalt aluminate
• Chromic oxide
• Lead chromate
• Phthalocyanine dyes.
• Cadmium sulfide
• Manganese
• Aluminium
• Titanium oxide
• Zinc oxide

Tattoo Reaction Signs and Symptoms

• Itchy, raised tattoos
• Redness of skin
• Swelling of tattooed skin
• Scabs formation on the tattooed skin
• Rash on tattooed skin
• Fever
• Allergic reaction

Investigations of Tattoo Reaction

• Complete case history
• Physical examination.
• Blood test for any other allergies.

Treatment of Tattoo Reaction

• Anti allergic
• Anti-inflammatory drugs
• Antibiotics
• Analgesics
• Anti-itch creams
• Steroids in some cases
• Tattoo removal by laser surgery

Complications of Tattoo Reaction

• Allergic reactions.
• Scarring.
• Skin infection.
• Granulomas.
• Keloids.
• Blood borne diseases.  Such as tetanus, hepatitis B and C

Diet/management of Tattoo Reaction

• Remove the bandage after 24 hours.
• Keep the tattooed skin clean.
• Use moisturizer.
• Avoid sun exposure.
• Avoid swimming.
• Don’t get tattoo when you are under influence of alcohol or drugs.
• Don’t wear anything that might stick to the tattoo.
• Allow skin to heal for 2 weeks.
• Don’t pick at any scabs of tattoo skin.
• Ask artist to wear gloves before making tattoo.
• Make sure tattoo artist sterilize non-disposable equipment.
• Get tattoo removed by laser treatment in case getting too much trouble.

Differential diagnosis of Tattoo Reaction

• Lichen planus.
• Psoriasis.
• Sarcoidosis.
• Lupus erythematosus.

Homeopathic treatment for Tattoo Reaction

Arnica Montana:
• It is given one day before tattooing.
• Most important remedy for injuries.
• Helps treating bruising, bleeding, swelling, trauma and shock.

Arsenicum Album:
• Given after tattooing.
• Tattoo becomes infected, causing burning pains.
• Person is nervous, frightened and restless.

Hepar sulphur:
• Infection or abscess after tattooing.
• Infection or abscess very sensitive to pain, touch or cold.
• Person very irritable.
• Pus formation in abscess.
• Discharge smells sour or like old cheese.

Hypericum perforatum:
• Nerves pain after tattooing.
• Puncture wounds with sharp, shooting pains.
• Pains with numbness or tingling.
• Injuries to area with lots of nerves pains radiates upward.

Ledum palustre:
• Ledum is primary remedy for puncture wounds.
• It is given after tattooing.
• Wounds feel cold.
• Relieved by cold application.

Rhus toxicodendron:
• Good for irritated tattoos.
• Tattoo dry hot, burning with itching.
• There is marked restlessness.
• Hard to find comfortable position.

Silicea terra:
• Abscesses resulting from a foreign body.
• Tattoo infection.
• Infection becomes sealed inside the body.
• Pain in the abscess.

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