Tattoos, body modifications offer insight into patients

11/5/2013 | Dermatology Times

Certain tattoos or other body modifications can give dermatologists clues about health and lifestyles, including intravenous drug use or gang membership, says dermatologic surgeon Terrence Cronin Jr. Showing tattoo-removal patients before-and-after photographs can help instill a realistic expectation of results, and surgery is usually required to revise gauging as well as skin tears that result from piercings that are accidentally ripped out, Cronin says. "There's a lot [dermatologists] can do to help tattooed patients with their skin, whether it's removing the tattoos with lasers or treating the infections, keloids and hypertrophic scars they may cause," Cronin said.

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