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August 1961

Viral Disease in Tattoos: Verruca Vulgaris

Author Affiliations


From the U.S. Naval Hospital.

Arch Dermatol. 1961;84(2):306-309. doi:10.1001/archderm.1961.01580140132017

The practice of marking the skin undoubtedly had its origin in archeologic times.1 Ancient tribal customs in Asia, Africa, and islands of the adjacent seas include disfiguration of the skin for purposes of identification as well as for social, religious, and cosmetic purposes. The practice has been traced back through various ethnic groups to 4000 B.C.1 The term tattoo has its origin in the Polynesian language, having been anglicized from the Tahitian tatu.2 In all levels of civilization it denotes the practice of forming designs and figures in the skin. These may be made through the use of dyes and pigments which are permanently retained, or through some means of cicatrization. Both methods are used by the natives of the South Sea Islands, by the Gonds and Todas of India, and by many other races including the Greenland Eskimos. The practice is said to have been carried

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