Nickel and tattoos : Where are we?

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Kluger , N 2021 , ' Nickel and tattoos : Where are we? ' , Contact Dermatitis , vol. 85 , no. 2 , pp. 136-140 .

Title: Nickel and tattoos : Where are we?
Author: Kluger, Nicolas
Contributor organization: Clinicum
Department of Dermatology, Allergology and Venereology
University of Helsinki
HUS Inflammation Center
Date: 2021-08
Language: eng
Number of pages: 5
Belongs to series: Contact Dermatitis
ISSN: 0105-1873
Abstract: Tattoos are not mentioned as a source of exposure to nickel. Traces of nickel are, however, almost inevitably found in tattoo inks as impurities and sometimes in tattooed skin. Whether nickel in tattoos has any health consequence is debated. We performed a narrative review of what is currently known about this topic. Today, nickel is frequently detected in inks, but at highly variable levels. It appears to be at higher concentrations in green, blue, and sometimes brown and violet inks. Only nickel allergy in tattooed individuals and nickel-associated tattoo ink allergy are addressed in the literature. Reports of tattoo ink allergy related to nickel are rare and heterogenous. Authors often neglect possible implications of other metals or dyes. A positive patch test is not enough to confirm the role of nickel in a reaction observed after tattooing. We found no report of any systemic complication attributed to nickel from tattoos. The Council of Europe ResAP(2008)1 bans the presence of nickel at high levels in tattoo inks, which is a safety net for individuals with nickel allergy. Large epidemiologic case-control studies with systematic biopsies on normal and inflamed tattoos and patch testing would help to understand the role of nickel in tattoo ink allergies.
Subject: ink
tattoo allergy
3121 General medicine, internal medicine and other clinical medicine
Peer reviewed: Yes
Rights: cc_by_nc_nd
Usage restriction: openAccess
Self-archived version: acceptedVersion

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