Tattoo skin reaction as a skin manifestation of systemic sarcoidosis

Mod Rheumatol Case Rep. 2021 Jan;5(1):167-171. doi: 10.1080/24725625.2020.1816645. Epub 2020 Oct 2.


A 41-year-old man presented with itching of the skin surrounding his tattoos, blurred vision, fever, general fatigue, and arthralgia. Physical examination revealed skin bulges confined to the tattoo ink lines. Histological analyses of the skin revealed non-caseating granulomas surrounding the tattoo inks. Together with other clinical manifestations including uveitis, lymph nodes swelling, and elevated serum angiotensin-converting enzyme and lysozyme, he was diagnosed with systemic sarcoidosis. The administration of prednisolone alleviated the sarcoidosis-related symptoms, including skin changes. This case illustrates that skin changes on tattoos can be a presenting manifestation of systemic sarcoidosis and that skin biopsy is useful in early diagnosis.

Keywords: Sarcoidosis; corticosteroid; cutaneous sarcoidosis; skin biopsy; tattoo.