Snippet from the study abstract:
Between October and December 2011, a persistent, raised, erythematous rash in the tattoo area developed in 19 persons (13 men and 6 women) within 3 weeks after they received a tattoo from a single artist who used premixed gray ink; the highest occurrence of tattooing and rash onset was in November (accounting for 15 and 12 patients, respectively). The average age of the patients was 35 years (range, 18 to 48). Skin-biopsy specimens, obtained from 17 patients, showed abnormalities in all 17, with M. chelonae isolated from 14 and confirmed by means of DNA sequencing. PFGE analysis showed indistinguishable patterns in 11 clinical isolates and one of three unopened bottles of premixed ink. Eighteen of the 19 patients were treated with appropriate antibiotics, and their condition improved.
Read the full abstract — Outbreak of Mycobacterium chelonae infection associated with tattoo ink
This topic interested us because of Scalp Micropigmentation (SMP) and the use of pigments in our practice. What can you learn from this? A medical facility is critical for sterility and cleanliness, and the tattoo ink must be medical grade. We periodically culture our inks as a precaution for this problem.