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August 3, 2013 / molehunter

melanoma hidden behind tattoo

I came across this interesting case via my Google melanoma search (for those who don’t know, you can task Google to search for new web items on anything that interests you and email you a regular digest for your information). A heavily tattooed man was having his tattoos removed when a dodgy mole was noticed among the ink. It turned out to be a melanoma. 

Interestingly, I saw a similar case (not photographed) where I thought the appearance of a mole was obscured by tattoo ink, making dermoscopic evaluation much more difficult.

The authors of the item (see here http://www.livescience.com/38608-tattoo-melanoma-case-report.html) suggest that if someone is going to be tattooed over moles, it might be wise to photograph any moles first for future reference. Moles that do not change are highly unlikely to be dangerous, a reference photograph can ease anxieties. I am not a fan of tattooing, but if people are going to do it, and it seems they are, this seems sound advice.

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