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Research Letter
April 2017

Tattoo Artists’ Approach to Melanocytic Nevi

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Dermatology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
JAMA Dermatol. 2017;153(4):328-330. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2016.5243

Tattooed skin can be challenging to examine for the dermatologist performing a skin cancer screening. A tattooed melanocytic nevus may hide or mimic features of malignant abnormality.1,2 Several case reports have been published describing cases of melanoma diagnosed at potentially later stages owing to concealment in a tattoo.3 To our knowledge, no studies have evaluated tattoo artists’ approach to skin with nevi or other skin lesions. We used a survey to investigate whether tattoo artists consider the risk of skin cancer before inking skin with nevi, whether they deliberately avoid skin lesions, and how commonly they perceive a skin lesion to be suspicious and encourage the client to see a dermatologist.