Tattoos: a review of tattoo practices and potential treatment options for removal

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Purpose of review

The purpose of this review is to present an overview of tattoo practices, complications and treatment options relevant to the pediatric population.

Recent findings

Tattoos are popular among adolescents for a variety of reasons and may be associated with other high-risk behaviors. Research indicates that adolescents may not comprehend potential health risks and complications that are related to tattooing. Case reports of infection, tattoo-associated dermatoses, and allergic reactions to tattoos continue to be reported in the literature. Additional cases of allergic contact dermatitis are being reported with temporary henna tattooing and cosmetic tattoos. As the desire for tattoo removal increases, researchers continue to explore safe, innovative and efficacious methods of tattoo removal.


As the popularity of tattooing continues to rise, so do the potential complications and adverse effects. Treatment options for tattoos are well described and must be individualized to each patient. Lasers continue to be a reliable and efficacious tool in treating amateur, professional, cosmetic and traumatic tattoos.

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