Tattooing increases the number of Langerhans cells in skin: An immunocytochemical study

Suryanarayana S. Karanth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Tattooing is an act of permanent marking of the skin with indelible patterns by pricking and inserting pigments. Langerhans cells (LCS) are dendritic cells normally present in suprabasal layers of the epidermis of the skin. To assess whether there were any effects caused by the tattooing on Langerhans cell population and cutaneous nerves, skin from affected areas (n = 15) was compared with controls (n = 10). Frozen sections were immunostained with antisera to S-100. No discernible change either in distribution or in number of Langerhans cells and nerves was seen upon comparison with control skin taken from different areas, but all of the specimens taken from affected areas had a significant increase in the number of Langerhans cells (p < 0.001) even after several years of tattooing with no change in the cutaneous nerves. Thus, the study shows persistent stimulation of Langerhans cell population in tattooed skin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)168-172
Number of pages5
JournalExperimental Dermatology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 22-07-1996
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Dermatology


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