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Ask the Medical Expert Archives 2000-2004

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Tattoo
August 2002

Q. My husband has had a tattoo on his arm for almost 3 years and lately he has gotten small soft bumps on his tattoo that itch. It looks and feels like a lot of mosquito bites. Do you know what this could be?

A. The cause of the skin reaction is not clear. Since the tattoo has been present for three years, it is hard to imagine an allergic reaction to the dye or an infection showing up now, as those complications would likely occur within a few days of the original tattoo process. Let your family doctor take a look to determine the diagnosis and see if treatment is needed.

http://www.niehs.nih.gov/external/faq/tattoo.htm

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/piercingandtattoos.html

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