Skin cancer may develop during laser removal of tattoo

August 2, 2013
Skin cancer may develop during laser removal of tattoo
Malignant melanoma may develop on a preexisting nevus within a tattoo that is being removed with laser therapy, according to a case report published online July 31 in JAMA Dermatology.

(HealthDay)—Malignant melanoma may develop on a preexisting nevus within a tattoo that is being removed with laser therapy, according to a case report published online July 31 in JAMA Dermatology.

Laura Pohl, M.D., of Laserklinik Karlsruhe in Germany, and colleagues describe the first case of a malignant melanoma that formed on a preexisting nevus within a tattoo during and between phases of removal with .

The researchers found a suspicious nevus on the right shoulder of a 29-year-old male during laser removal of large, multicolored tattoos on both arms and the chest. Initially, the patient refused to allow excision of the nevus. When continued was made conditional upon removal of the nevus, the patient consented. Biopsy results showed the lesion was a superficial spreading malignant .

"In general, tattoos should never be placed on pigmented lesions; if they are, the tattoos should not be treated by laser," the authors write.

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