Lehner, K. and Santarelli, F. and Penning, R. and Vasold, R. and Engel, E. and Maisch, T. and Gastl, K. and König, Burkhard and Landthaler, M. and Bäumler, W. (2011) The decrease of pigment concentration in red tattooed skin years after tattooing. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (25), pp. 1340-1345.
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Background Tattooing entails the injection of high amounts of colourants into skin. Excepting black inks, red azo pigments are the most frequent colourant used. Part of the pigment is transported away via lymphatic system.
Another part can be decomposed in skin, which might be responsible for many known adverse skin reactions. Objective The aim of this study was to estimate the extent of decomposition and transportation by measuring the decrease of pigment concentration in human skin under in vivo conditions.
Methods Red pigments were extracted from nine tattooed skin specimen and attempted quantification by using HPLC technology. To optimize quantification, we synthesized five common red azo pigments with purity at 98% and used them as HPLC reference substances.
Results In five of the nine skin specimens, we were able to identify and subsequently to quantify the red tattoo
pigments such as Pigment Red 22 or Pigment Red 112. The mean pigment concentration in skin was 0.077 ± 0.046 mg⁄ cm2. As the pigment concentration in skin ranges from 0.60 to 9.42 mg⁄ cm2 (mean: 2.53) directly after tattooing, we estimate a decrease of 87 to 99% of pigment concentration in skin after tattooing.
Conclusion Millions of people have many and large tattoos, whereas a single tattoo frequently covers a skin area of more than 300 cm2. Thus, the major part of more than 760 mg of azo pigments either decomposes in skin or migrates in the body. That may pose a health risk on tattooed individuals, in particular may cause severe skin reactions.
|Institutions:|| Medicine > Lehrstuhl für Dermatologie und Venerologie|
Chemistry and Pharmacy > Institut für Organische Chemie > Lehrstuhl Prof. Dr. Burkhard König
|Subjects:||500 Science > 540 Chemistry & allied sciences|
600 Technology > 610 Medical sciences Medicine
|Refereed:||Yes, this version has been refereed|
|Created at the University of Regensburg:||Yes|
|Deposited On:||10 Mar 2011 07:59|
|Last Modified:||04 Nov 2011 11:25|
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