A 29-year-old woman with insulin-dependent diabetes noted a painful erosion at the site of the tattoo which she had gotten 7 days before. A culture isolated staphylococcus aureus confirming the clinical impression of staph. This diagnosis was not entirely unexpected, since patients with diabetes mellitus are predisposed to staphylococcal infection. An oral cephalosporin cleared the cellulitis, leaving the tattoo a little distorted. The tattoo artist blamed the cellulitis on the patient’s failure to take proper care of the wound site. However, the lack of recurrent infections in the patient’s history indicates that she probably was not a carrier, and the infection grew from a new source.
Tattoos are very popular, especially with teens. But the tattoo application process and aftercare, which can be long, painful and stressful, can create some problems for our diabetes patients. Blood pressure and blood sugar levels can both rise while a tattoo is being applied, and high blood sugar levels can also complicate the healing process, increasing the risk of infection.
Other things to consider before getting a tattoo include….
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- Description: Diabetes In Control is a free weekly diabetes newsletter dedicated to helping medical professionals in diabetes care better help their diabetes patients.