Doctors are urging people to keep a close eye on their body art after an Aussie woman was admitted to hospital with large lumps under her armpits - which were later found to be filled with pigment.
The 30-year-old was initially tested for lymphoma before a biopsy revealed that black ink from a tattoo she’d received more than a decade earlier had collected in a cluster of cells.
The unusual case was reported in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine earlier this week, with doctors explaining that the cause was likely an immune system reaction.
“A large black-ink tattoo that had been present for 15 years covered her back,” the researchers said.
“Another black-ink tattoo on her left shoulder was 2.5 years old.”
The woman was an otherwise healthy non-smoker and had only reported having the painful nodes for two weeks.
“We concluded that the diagnosis was granulomatous lymphadenitis, which was probably a hypersensitivity reaction to the tattoo pigment," the researchers said.
“We believe that this case highlights the importance of a careful tattoo history and physical examination."
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