Granulomatous reaction to purple tattoo pigment

Robert Schwartz, C. G.Toby Mathias, Claramae H. Miller, Rogelio Rojas‐Corona, W. Clark Lambert

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An acute dermatitis overlying an immunologic granuloma was noted at the site of purple “dye” injection in a man with multiple multicolored tattoos. The skin reaction was observed 3 weeks after the injection, which proved to contain manganese, the usual metallic salt used for purple colored tattoos. Atomic absorption spectrometry showed a large amount of manganese in the biopsy specimen. Neither the dermatitis nor an immunologic granuloma could be reproduced with manganese salts or the alleged tattoo pigment. In addition, his peripheral blood lymphocytes were shown to be normal both in subset distribution and in their function, but these cells did not respond by blastogenesis to dilutions of the alleged pigment or to 2 manganese salts tested.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)198-202
Number of pages5
JournalContact Dermatitis
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1987

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Dermatology


  • Immunologic granuloma
  • manganese
  • purple pigment
  • tattoo

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