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Concept: Tattoo


The increasing prevalence of tattoos provoked safety concerns with respect to particle distribution and effects inside the human body. We used skin and lymphatic tissues from human corpses to address local biokinetics by means of synchrotron X-ray fluorescence (XRF) techniques at both the micro (μ) and nano (ν) scale. Additional advanced mass spectrometry-based methodology enabled to demonstrate simultaneous transport of organic pigments, heavy metals and titanium dioxide from skin to regional lymph nodes. Among these compounds, organic pigments displayed the broadest size range with smallest species preferentially reaching the lymph nodes. Using synchrotron μ-FTIR analysis we were also able to detect ultrastructural changes of the tissue adjacent to tattoo particles through altered amide I α-helix to β-sheet protein ratios and elevated lipid contents. Altogether we report strong evidence for both migration and long-term deposition of toxic elements and tattoo pigments as well as for conformational alterations of biomolecules that likely contribute to cutaneous inflammation and other adversities upon tattooing.

Concepts: Heavy metal music, Tissue, Lymphatic system, Lymph node, Tattoo, Oxygen, Skin, Titanium dioxide


Body art is mainstream, with wearers readily admitting to being risk takers. Yet, are high-risk behaviors (e.g., cigarette, alcohol, and illegal drug use, sexual activity) and emotional distress (e.g., depression, suicide, eating disorders, abuse/forced sexual activity) present in all individuals with body art? Of the 595 college students who were queried, 127 (21%) had tattoos and 195 (33%) had lifetime piercings, with 17 (3%) having intimate (nipple, genital, or both) piercings; they also reported their self-views regarding religion, self-esteem, and Need for Uniqueness. Three consistent self-identity outcomes for their body art were: it helped me (a) express myself, (b) feel unique, and © be myself. When quantifying their body art amounts, well-being similar to that of individuals with no body art was present in those with one tattoo and less than four piercings. Individuals with four or more tattoos, seven or more piercings, and/or intimate piercings described higher risk behaviors and emotional distress. Education, monitoring, and non-profiling should continue as body art is only “skin deep.” [Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services, xx(x), xx-xx.].

Concepts: HIV, Human behavior, Psychiatry, Body art, Drug addiction, Body modification, Tattoo, Psychology


Lawsonia inermis (Lythraceae) known as henna is one of the most popular and ancient plants used in cosmetics and hair dying. It is cultivated for its leaves but other parts such as seeds, flowers, stem bark and roots are also used in traditional medicine for millennia. Henna tattoo paste also proved to be beneficial for wound healing and in several skin diseases suggesting potent anti-inflammatory activity. To evaluate henna anti-inflammatory activity, 31 compounds, including three 1,5-diphenylpent-3-en-1-yne derivatives, lawsochylin A-C and three methyl naphthalene carboxylates, lawsonaphthoate A-C, were isolated from the stems and leaves of henna utilizing a bioassay-guided fractionation. The structures of the compounds were elucidated by spectroscopic data. Two compounds, lawsochylin A and lawsonaphthoate A showed potent anti-inflammatory activity by inhibition of superoxide anion generation (IC(50)=1.80 and 1.90μg/ml) and elastase release (IC(50)=1.58 and 3.17μg/ml) of human neutrophils in response to fMLP or cytochalasin B. Moreover, the known compounds, luteolin, apigenin, 4S-4-hydroxy-α-tetralone, and 2-butoxysuccinic acid, also showed potent inhibition of superoxide anion generation (IC(50)=0.75-1.78μg/ml) and elastase release (IC(50)=1.62-3.61μg/ml).

Concepts: Lawsonia, Diwali, Lythraceae, Mehndi, Tattoo, Henna


Nipple-areolar complex (NAC) tattoos are an effective cosmetic solution for creating a finished look following breast reconstruction procedures. NAC tattoos are prone to significant fading, leading patients to seek revisions. This study was designed to quantify changes in NAC tattoo appearance over time.

Concepts: Breast implant, Tattoo, Black-and-white films, Permanent makeup, Breast reconstruction, Nipple, Areola, Breast


The popularity of tattoos has increased tremendously in the last 10-years particularly among athletes and military personnel. The tattooing process involves permanently depositing ink under the skin at a similar depth as eccrine sweat glands (3-5 mm).

Concepts: Tattoo, Exocrine system


Tattoos, piercing, and scarification are now commonplace among adolescents and young adults. This first clinical report from the American Academy of Pediatrics on voluntary body modification will review the methods used to perform the modifications. Complications resulting from body modification methods, although not common, are discussed to provide the pediatrician with management information. Body modification will be contrasted with nonsuicidal self-injury. When available, information also is presented on societal perceptions of body modification.

Concepts: Tattooing, Young adult, Adolescence, Medicine, Scarification, Tattoo, Body art, Body modification


Previous studies have indicated negative evaluations of women with tattoos. However, a study by Swami and Furnham (2007) showed that tattooed women were rated as less physically attractive but more sexually promiscuous. Given that men interpret women’s sexual intent according to their physical appearance, we predicted that women with tattoos would be more favorably approached by men. A temporary tattoo was placed on confederates' lower back, or not, and all confederates were instructed to read a book while lying flat on their stomach on a well-known beach. Two experiments were conducted. The first experiment showed that more men (N = 220) approached the tattooed confederates and that the mean latency of their approach was quicker. A second experiment showed that men (N = 440) estimated to have more chances to have a date and to have sex on the first date with tattooed confederates. However, the level of physical attractiveness attributed to the confederate was not influenced by the tattoo condition. These results were discussed with respect to men’s possible misinterpretation of women wearing tattoos and the risks associated with this misinterpretation.

Concepts: Experiment, Tattooing, Sexual intercourse, Statistics, Temporary tattoo, Human physical appearance, Tattoo, Physical attractiveness


Background: The use of temporary henna tattoos has increased dramatically in recent years, especially in children and adolescents. To obtain a darker colour and prolong the life of the tattoo, red henna, a plant-derived substance, is typically added to para-phenylenediamine (PPD). The mixture is called temporary black henna tattoo (TBHT). Because of its molecular characteristics, PPD can induce skin sensitization that may cause various clinical manifestations with successive exposures, among which the most common is allergic contact dermatitis (ACD). This report describes two paediatric cases of PPD sensitization and ACD after the exposure to TBHT and summarizes the literature on this emerging clinical problem. Case Presentation: We describe two cases of childhood-onset ACD that occurred 2 and 10 days, respectively, after the application of a TBHT during the summer holidays. Patch tests showed an evident positive response to 1% PPD in both cases. Sensitization to PPD occurred in the first case because a previous henna tattoo did not result in overt symptoms; in the second case, the reaction occurred after the same tattoo was retouched. In both cases, hypopigmentation persisted and both the patients and their families were advised to avoid further contact with PPD-containing materials and substances that could lead to cross-reactions. Conclusions: Sensitization to PPD is a growing phenomenon in children. The most common cause appears to be exposure to TBHT in which PPD might be present at unknown or high concentrations. Once sensitization occurs, patients may experience severe clinical symptoms which can present with a persistent hypopigmentation when they are re-exposed to substances that contain or cross-react with PPD. Given the widespread use of PPD, TBHT could adversely affect the daily life of paediatric patients; thus, for this reason, this practice as a fashion accessory must be discouraged. In addition, it is extremely important to provide scientific information on the risks of TBHT to consumers, especially to adolescents and to the parents of younger children to prevent PPD sensitization.

Concepts: Body modification, Contact dermatitis, Diwali, P-Phenylenediamine, Body art, Mehndi, Tattoo, Henna


Tattooing has been utilized by the medical community for precisely demarcating anatomic landmarks. This practice is especially important for identifying biopsy sites of nonmelanoma skin cancer (NMSC) due to the long interval (i.e., up to 3 months) between the initial diagnostic biopsy and surgical treatment. Commercially available tattoo pigments possess several issues, which include causing poor cosmesis, being mistaken for a melanocytic lesion, requiring additional removal procedures when no longer desired, and potentially inducing inflammatory responses. The ideal tattoo pigment for labeling of skin biopsy sites for NMSC requires (i) invisibility under ambient light, (ii) fluorescence under a selective light source, (iii) a finite intradermal retention time (ca. 3 months), and (iv) biocompatibility. Herein, we introduce cross-linked fluorescent supramolecular nanoparticles (c-FSNPs) as a “finite tattoo” pigment, with optimized photophysical properties and intradermal retention time to achieve successful in vivo finite tattooing. Fluorescent supramolecular nanoparticles encapsulate a fluorescent conjugated polymer, poly[5-methoxy-2-(3-sulfopropoxy)-1,4-phenylenevinylene] (MPS-PPV), into a core via a supramolecular synthetic approach. FSNPs which possess fluorescent properties superior to those of the free MPS-PPV are obtained through a combinatorial screening process. Covalent cross-linking of FSNPs results in micrometer-sized c-FSNPs, which exhibit a size-dependent intradermal retention. The 1456 nm sized c-FSNPs display an ideal intradermal retention time (ca. 3 months) for NMSC lesion labeling, as observed in an in vivo tattoo study. In addition, the c-FSNPs induce undetectable inflammatory responses after tattooing. We believe that the c-FSNPs can serve as a “finite tattoo” pigment to label potential malignant NMSC lesions.

Concepts: Ablative brain surgery, Pigment, Tattoo, Biopsy, Light, Fluorescence, Titanium dioxide, Cancer


Tattoos have become increasingly common in the United States; however, there are limited data on the rates of tattoo complications and tattoo regret.

Concepts: United States, Tattoo