Of 24 patients with yellow tattoos, 18 observed a swelling reaction in them when they were exposed to sunlight.
Four of these patients also observed a similar type of reaction in the red tattoos.
Tattoos done experimentally with cadmium sulfide were shown to give a swelling reaction when exposed to the wavelengths 3,800, 4,000, and 4,500 Angstroms (A).
Photopatch testing with cadmium sulfide was negative.
Cadmium sulfide is a compound with marked photoconducting properties. The swelling reaction provoked by light in tattoos of cadmium sulfide seems to be phototoxic in nature.
BJORNBERG A. Reactions to Light in Yellow Tattoos From Cadmium Sulfide. Arch Dermatol. 1963;88(3):267–271. doi:10.1001/archderm.1963.01590210025003
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