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Dr. Andrew Rynne
MD
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Have BN on right arm. Can I do tatoo over it? Will it cause cancer?

Hello doctor, I am 18 years old male. i have BN over my right arm and i dont like it to be seen by my friends so i would like to tatoo it, no hair grown and brown pigments. Is there is any effect of tatooing over it? also i had heard of getting cancer when we tatoo over it. please suggest me, i m so embarassed from this also it decease my confidence level.
Tue, 24 Sep 2013
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Oncologist, Surgical 's  Response
There is only one problem with you getting a tattoo over the nevus and that is that if there is any change in the character of the nevus with time then you will not be able to know till late. I say this because benign nevus are known to change into cancer although the risk in normal individuals (no family or past history of skin cancer) is less than 1% over lifetime. Changes that signify cancer are increase in size, change in color or texture, bleeding or discharge, pain, change in surrounding skin. Also excessive exposure to sun and fair skinned people are at increased risk. Since you are quite worried about how it looks, I will suggest you this. You can get a tattoo done, but design it in such a way that the nevus and the area around the nevus can be monitored. Also, avoid excessive sun exposure if you can
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