Share this article on:

Squamous-cell Carcinoma Arises in Red Parts of Multicolored Tattoo within Months

Paprottka, Felix Julian MD*; Bontikous, Stiliano MD; Lohmeyer, Jörn A. MD, PhD; Hebebrand, Detlev MD, PhD*

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery – Global Open: March 2014 - Volume 2 - Issue 3 - p e114
doi: 10.1097/GOX.0000000000000055
Case Reports
Best Paper

Summary: Skin cancer formation is on the rise. Only a few case reports, which focus on skin cancer being caused by tattoos, have been published so far. Our aim is to determine whether skin cancer occurrence can be triggered by tattoos. In our presented case, a squamous-cell carcinoma developed inside of the red areas of a multicolored tattoo within months. Furthermore, surgical removal of the cancerously mutated skin area without mutilating the design of the tattoo was challenging. Due to widespread skin alterations in other red areas of the tattoo, those affected skin regions were surgically removed and split-skin grafting was performed. After 1-year follow-up period, the patient has been tumor free. Squamous-cell carcinoma is an unusual reaction that can occur in tattoos. Nevertheless, this skin cancer should be included in the list of cutaneous complications related to tattooing.

From the *Department of Plastic Surgery and Hand Surgery, Agaplesion Diakonieklinikum Rotenburg, Roten burg, Germany; Department of Pathology, Agaplesion Diakonieklinikum Rotenburg, Rotenburg, Germany; and Department of Plastic Surgery, Agaplesion Diakonieklinikum Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany.

Received for publication October 27, 2013; accepted January 2, 2014.

Disclosure: The authors have no financial interest to declare in relation to the content of this article. The Article Processing Charge was paid for by the Agaplesion Diakonieklinikum Rotenburg.

Felix Julian Paprottka, MD Department of Plastic Surgery and Hand Surgery Agaplesion Diakonieklinikum Rotenburg Elise-Averdieck-Straße 17 27356 Rotenburg Germany E-mail:

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License, where it is permissible to download and share the work provided it is properly cited. The work cannot be changed in any way or used commercially.

© 2014 American Society of Plastic Surgeons