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February 1959

Skin-Marking Technique

Author Affiliations

Charleston, S. C.

AMA Arch Derm. 1959;79(2):244. doi:10.1001/archderm.1959.01560140106015

A simple and easy method of marking the skin is desirable and often needed in dermatological practice. The marks should not be soluble in water or alcoholic solutions and should persist for several days. In the past, I have used wax skin-marking pencils, such as are commercially available, and also indelible-ink ball-point pens. Previous marking methods included silver nitrate, gentian violet, Bonney's blue, and even scratching the skin itself. All of these disappear rather rapidly under friction from clothing, detergent action, and perspiration.

An interest in oil painting led to an acquaintance with the felt-nib pen that artists use for sketching. For the past year I have been using this pen for marking the skin. On looking into the matter I found that Tamerin and Bornstein,1 in 1950, published a short article on the use of this type of pen and the aniline dye, oil-based,