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Traumatic tattoo in Child
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Traumatic tattoo in Child

Contributors: David Brodell MD, Susan Burgin MD
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

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:
840343009 – Iatrogenic tattoo
840347005 – Occupational 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:06/07/2017
Last Updated:03/26/2017
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Traumatic tattoo in Child
A medical illustration showing key findings of Traumatic tattoo : Abrasion, Hyperpigmented patch
Clinical image of Traumatic tattoo - imageId=5269946. Click to open in gallery.  caption: 'A bluish-black papule on the cheek.'
A bluish-black papule on the cheek.
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