Sequels to tattoo removal by caustic products

10 Citationer (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Caustic products are used as affordable alternatives to laser removal of tattoos.

OBJECTIVE: Describe a series of patients with sequels after tattoo removal by caustic products.

METHODS: 11 patients with complications referred from 2013 to 2017 were studied. Objective findings, sequels, corrective treatments, cost and psychological aspects were obtained. Numeric Rating Scale (NRS, score 10 extremely dissatisfied) was used to describe patient satisfaction with tattoos before and after removal.

RESULTS: Scarring and residual tattoo pigments were detected in all patients. Chronic itching (73%), redness (73%) and swelling (64%) were frequent. Patients were less satisfied with their tattoo after removal attempts; Average NRS prior to removal was 7.5 (range 5-10), and afterwards 8.9 (range 4.5-10), t test non-significant. Removal was performed by medical professionals (82%) and cosmetologists (18%), involving the marketed injection brands Tatt2Away and Rejuvi. Ten patients had corrections eg. laser, plastic surgery or cover-up tattoos. Private expense for corrections was mean 1.953 EUR, not including consultations provided by the Hospital.

CONCLUSION: Tattoo removal by caustic products can cause severe and chronic sequels with dissatisfaction despite therapeutic interventions to correct disfiguring changes. Removal by caustic products is freely permitted. Products are obscured and liability and consumer protection is unacceptable; limitation is needed.


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