For varying, often personal reasons, millions of Americans have tattoos on their bodies. In addition to regret, some individuals experience allergic reactions to the ink of their tattoos. More recently, researchers in Germany have found that tattoos may cover up moles and lesions, making it difficult to detect skin cancer. What specifically did they find?
Tattoos: Concealer of Skin Cancer
Researchers with the University of Heidelberg, Germany, pointed to the case study of a 29-year-old man with a tattoo on his arms and chest. Ten years later, the patient sought tattoo removal, during which a mole on his shoulder was uncovered. Further tattoo removal was stopped until the mole was biopsied. The mole turned out to be a malignant melanoma. What can we take from this to preserve the safety of tattoo removal patients.
Skin Examinations Absolutely Necessary Before Tattoo Removal
Sixteen other cases of tattoos hiding melanoma have been documented in medical literature. While laser tattoo removal is still relatively safe, patients must first undergo a complete skin examination by a board-certified dermatologist. If anything suspicious is found, a biopsy needs to be taken to determine the presence of skin cancer. If the biopsy results are positive, the skin cancer must be removed before tattoo removal can even be considered.
Looking to Get Rid of That Tattoo? Contact Us Today!
If you are seeking removal of one or more tattoos, contact us today to schedule a consultation and discuss treatment options. At Advanced Dermatology, PC, our board-certified dermatologists are experts in the latest lasers, enabling them to treat tattoos of many different colors on all skin types. In addition, our dermatologists can perform the necessary complete skin examination beforehand, and in the event of skin cancer, our Mohs surgeon can treat it with minimal scarring. Our conveniently located offices welcome patients from Queens (Bayside, Flushing), Long Island – Nassau/Suffolk (Roslyn Heights, West Islip, Commack, East Setauket), New York City (Upper West Side, Upper East Side), Brooklyn (Park Slope) Westchester County (Ossining, Briarcliff Manor), Bergen County, NJ, Union County, NJ, and all surrounding areas.