Indelible ink dermatitis during COVID: A series of 97 cases

Case Report

Author Details : Akshay L M*, Sushruth Kamoji, Shilpa Vinay Dastikop, Vinita Sanagoudar, Gajanan A Pise

Volume : 7, Issue : 2, Year : 2021

Article Page : 169-171

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Indelible ink is formulated by National Physical Laboratory and produced by Mysore Paints and Varnishes Limited since 1962. It is most used to prevent voter fraud in elections. The ink’s believed to be composed of silver nitrate (7%–25%), which binds to the proteins in skin and nails. The ink is said to be relatively safe at this concentration. However, frequent exposure, older ink, and higher concentrations can result in cumulative exposure and various degrees of damage. Herein, we report irritation reactions with the ink in several students labelled for home quarantine during COVD19 pandemic. Overall, 97 students (aged 15–17 years) with travel history were screened and quarantined according to COVID19 protocols. They were stamped with “HOME QUARANTINE” on the ventral aspect of the right forearm. Approximately 4-6 hours later, all students complained of localised burning and swelling to a variable extent. The severity was more in girls. They were treated with topical antibiotics, steroids and cetirizine tablets which showed symptomatic improvement. Irritation with indelible ink has rarely been reported, especially, with a large sample size. This report highlights the risk of severe irritant dermatitis with indelible ink and hence the need for its judicious use.

Keywords: Indelible ink, Irritant dermatitis, COVID.

How to cite : Akshay L M, Kamoji S , Dastikop S V, Sanagoudar V , Pise G A, Indelible ink dermatitis during COVID: A series of 97 cases. IP Indian J Clin Exp Dermatol 2021;7(2):169-171

Copyright © 2021 by author(s) and IP Indian J Clin Exp Dermatol. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (

Article History

Received : 30-03-2021

Accepted : 21-04-2021

Available online : 26-05-2021

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