Henna and Hair Dye
This patient was hospitalized and treated for severe cosmetic dermatitis with systemic corticosteroids,
The patient remained afebrile and was discharged on hospital day 2 with close follow-up and daily dressing
Case and photo courtesy of Jennifer A. Jewell, MD, and Lorraine L. McElwain, MD.
Tattooing and body piercing are popular among adolescents—many of whom may not be aware of possible medical complications. Tattooing is associated with transmission of hepatitis B and C viruses. Although transmission of HIV is theoretically possible, no instances have been definitively proved.Body piercing also has been implicated in the transmission of hepatitis.
In addition to infection, pain, bleeding, and allergic reactions—particularly to the pigments used in tattoos—keloids and scarring can occur (as illustrated in the following photos). Keloid response to skin injury is genetically determined; these scars occur more frequently in those with darkly pigmented skin and are associated with piercing.
Staphylococcus aureus, group A -hemolytic streptococci, and Pseudomonas species have been isolated from post-piercing infections. These have the potential to become life-threatening infections.
Risks specific to oral piercing include gingival recession, gum tissue injury, chipped and cracked teeth, excessive saliva production, and tongue swelling. Tongue or lip studs that unfasten can become choking hazards. Oral piercings can also result in altered speech and chewing problems.
7 THINGS YOU CAN DO
1 Advise your patient of the complications that are often associated with tattooing and piercing. Many persons who opt for body art are unaware of potential health risks and sequelae.
2 Describe the procedures of tattooing and body piercing to your patient. He or she may not know that tattooing involves multiple intradermal injections to achieve the design's color and pattern.
3 Emphasize the need for these practices to be performed in a sanitary environment by trained personnel (Table).
4 Stress the importance of appropriate wound care and aftercare. Prepare patients for the healing time needed after their procedure.
Case and photo courtesy of CPT Erin Drifmeyer, MD, and COL Ken Batts, DO.
1.Mayers LB, Judelson DA, Moriarty BW, Rundell KW. Prevalence of body art (body piercing and tattooing in university undergraduates and incidence of medical complications. Mayo Clin Proc. 2002;77:29-34.