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Case Reports in Medicine
Volume 2010 (2010), Article ID 431813, 3 pages
Case Report

Poorly Differentiated Squamous Cell Carcinoma Arising in Tattooed Skin

1Department of Pathology, Creighton University Medical Center, Omaha, NE 68131, USA
2Department of Dermatology, Creighton University Medical Center, Omaha, NE 68131, USA

Received 7 August 2010; Accepted 14 December 2010

Academic Editor: T. Ottenhoff

Copyright © 2010 Deba P. Sarma et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Introduction. Tattoos have increasingly become accepted by mainstream Western society. As a result, the incidence of tattoo-associated dermatoses is on the rise. The presence of a poorly differentiated squamous cell carcinoma in an old tattooed skin is of interest as it has not been previously documented. Case Presentation. A 79-year-old white homeless man of European descent presented to the dermatology clinic with a painless raised nodule on his left forearm arising in a tattooed area. A biopsy of the lesion revealed a poorly differentiated squamous cell carcinoma infiltrating into a tattoo. The lesion was completely excised and the patient remains disease-free one year later. Conclusion. All previous reports of squamous cell carcinomas arising in tattoos have been well-differentiated low-grade type or keratoacanthoma-type and are considered to be coincidental rather than related to any carcinogenic effect of the tattoo pigments. Tattoo-associated poorly differentiated invasive carcinoma appears to be extremely rare.