Today we are going to talk about a lifelong inflammatory process and some of the implications of this inflammatory process for disease.
The pathologies we will talk about is the chronic inflammatory response to tattoos.
In a recent article published in March 2018 in the Journal of Experimental Medicine titled "Unveiling skin macrophage dynamics explains both tattoo persistence and strenuous removal" Baranska et al explain what happens to tattoo ink when it is injected into the dermis.
The pigment injected into the dermis generates an inflammatory response. A specific type of macrophage, known as a melanophage, along with other immune cells, race to engulf the foreign substance, in this case tattoo ink. In other words the ink does not stay in the dermis it is retained inside these macrophages. When the melanophage dies it then bursts, and then another melanophage engulfs the pigment which has been released. The result is an endless cycle of immune response and cell death of macrophages. While some of the pigment laden immune cells stay at the site where the tattoo was placed, others are taken by immune cells to the lymph nodes scattered throughout the body.
Thus when you look at a tattoo, you are actually looking at a collection of dying macrophages in the skin. Every 90 days these macrophages die and are replaced by new macrophages.
Tattoo associated diseases
In order to read the most recent research related to tattoo related diseases click on the links below::
Bacterial endocarditis, aortic regurgitation, and heart failure
Systemic sarcoidosis and granulomas
Inflammatory myopathy and immune deficiency
Haemophilus influenza sepsis
Painful pigmented lymphadenopathy which mimics melanoma, lymphoma or breast cancer
Psoriasis, discoid lupus erythematosus and lichen planus
Malignant melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans, B cell lymphoma and leiomyosarcoma.
Infection, Allergic Contact Dermatitis and Keloids
Thousands of adverse effects have been reported in medical journals around the world including
Here is a book dedicated to complications of tattoos