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November 6, 1937

REMOVAL OF POWDER TATTOO BY MINOR SURGERY

Author Affiliations

Pasadena, Calif.

JAMA. 1937;109(19):1530. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.92780450001010

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Abstract

Methods of removing gun powder are fairly efficient; it is vastly more difficult to free the skin from powder stains or tattoo marks.

The first complete success in the treatment of such a case that I witnessed was carried out on myself by Capt. James M. Taylor, R.A.M.C. I received a black powder blast in the face. The shot was fired at close range and thus the powder penetrated the tissues to considerable depths in various places.

The removal of the powder grains commenced the same day and proceeded, with the exception of rest periods, for three days. Antiseptic compresses were applied at night, and the following day the work of removal of powder was renewed. Serum accumulated around individual grains of powder. These were difficult to remove the first day, but the serum seemed to facilitate their removal the following days. Inside of three days every

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