Poorly differentiated squamous cell carcinoma arising in tattooed skin

Deba P. Sarma, Renee B. Dentlinger, Amanda M. Forystek, Todd Stevens, Christopher Huerter

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15 Scopus citations


Introduction. Tattoos have increasingly become accepted by mainstream Western society. As a result, the incidence of tattooassociated dermatoses is on the rise. The presence of a poorly differentiated squamous cell carcinoma in an old tattooed skin is of interest as it has not been previously documented. Case Presentation. A 79-year-old white homeless man of European descent presented to the dermatology clinic with a painless raised nodule on his left forearm arising in a tattooed area. A biopsy of the lesion revealed a poorly differentiated squamous cell carcinoma infiltrating into a tattoo. The lesion was completely excised and the patient remains disease-free one year later. Conclusion. All previous reports of squamous cell carcinomas arising in tattoos have been well-differentiated low-grade type or keratoacanthoma-type and are considered to be coincidental rather than related to any carcinogenic effect of the tattoo pigments. Tattoo-associated poorly differentiated invasive carcinoma appears to be extremely rare.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number431813
JournalCase Reports in Medicine
StatePublished - 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)


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