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Traumatic tattoo in Adult
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Traumatic tattoo in Adult

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Contributors: David Brodell MD, Susan Burgin MD
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Synopsis

A traumatic tattoo is when foreign bodies become forcibly embedded in the dermis and create a permanent tattoo. Such particles may include fireworks, sand, metal, glass, gunpowder, asphalt, dust, petroleum products, and graphite from pencil point injuries. Traumatic abrasions (such as after a road accident) are a more frequent cause of traumatic tattoos than explosions. Minor trauma, such as from penetration of a pencil through the epidermis, may also be responsible.

Particles become trapped beneath healing dermis and epidermis. In explosion injury, particles may also become trapped behind a collapsed entry wound. Body location of the tattoo depends on where the trauma occurred. Lesions vary widely in size and shape depending on the causative injury, and are usually blue, gray, or black.

Codes

ICD10CM:
L81.8 – Other specified disorders of pigmentation

SNOMEDCT:
403179001 – Accidental and/or traumatic tattoo

Look For

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Diagnostic Pearls

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Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls

The differential diagnosis may depend on the foreign body color, shape, size, and mode of entry into the skin, and includes:

Best Tests

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Management Pearls

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Therapy

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References

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Last Reviewed: 06/08/2017
Last Updated: 03/27/2017
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Traumatic tattoo in Adult
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Traumatic tattoo : Abrasion, Hyperpigmented patch
Clinical image of Traumatic tattoo
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