Armpit Tattoos Could Mimic Cancer

Armpit tattoos: What to know before you ink

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - It is the latest trend in tattoos -- the armpit tattoo. You can find them all over Pinterest and Instagram.

Some doctors are chatting about this online and have concerns when it comes to cancer. And here’s why -- your armpit area has a cluster of 20 lymph nodes. Half are on the surface and additional ones lay even deeper.

The concern comes in the tattoo ink that can seep into the lymph nodes and pigment them, which could cause a false positive cancer diagnosis.

Those same pigmented lymph nodes can make a melanoma diagnosis more difficult because the dye makes them show up like cancer, so all of them would need to be biopsied.

The ink also interferes with how your skin sweats. You sweat 50 percent less in the area where your ink is.

There are some regulations for tattoo ink, but some like the Food and Drug Administration believe more are needed. They are currently conducting research to take a closer look at tattoo inks and their ingredients.

 

© 2017 WZZM-TV


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