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June 1978

Salabrasion of Tattoos: A Correlation of the Clinical and Histological Results

Author Affiliations

From the Dermatology Service, Veterans Administration Hospital, Palo Alto, Calif, and the Department of Dermatology, Stanford (Calif) University Medical Center.

Arch Dermatol. 1978;114(6):884-888. doi:10.1001/archderm.1978.01640180018004

• Twenty-six tattoos were treated by salabrasion. The salt was left on the abraded surface from zero to 24 hours. The percentage of residual pigment varied from 50%, when the salt was removed immediately after salabrasion, to 5%, when the salt was left in place for over 12 hours. When the salt was left on for variable periods, some degree of scarring and hypopigmentation occurred in 79% and in 59% of the tattoos, respectively. When the salt was removed immediately after salabrasion, 29% of the tattoos showed scarring and 29% showed hypopigmentation. Our results show that the best method is to remove the salt immediately after salabrasion, but that this form of therapy should only be done on those lesions where the eventual cosmetic result is not important.

(Arch Dermatol 114:884-888, 1978)