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A skin pen[1] (also surgical pen,[2] surgical marking pen,[3] surgical marker pen,[4] surgical marker,[5] or skin marker pen[6]) is type of pen applied to skin to create an image. These kinds of pens are frequently used by surgeons before proceeding with surgery for either medical purposes or cosmetic surgery. They are also often used in tattoo parlours before applying the actual permanent ink.

While long-lasting, this ink is temporary, as it has a specific substance that removes it within 3–4 days.

The sterile surgical pen was invented by Fery Manteghi in the early 1970s whilst he was working at University College Hospital. Research was carried out with scientists at Atomic Energy Laboratories at Wantage.

Research was organised by University College Hospital. Arrangements were made for Mr Manteghi, Mr French (Chief Pharmacist) and Miss Haynes (Deputy Superintendent) to attend Wantage Atomic Energy Laboratories. This was to discuss with the scientists at Wantage the feasibility of sterilising surgical pens using radiation. Trials were successful and safety tests carried out by the UCH pharmaceutical department were also successful.

The pens were first used in the main operating theatres at UCH but are now used worldwide. They are an essential tool for surgeons of reconstructive surgery.

See also


  1. ^ "Covers and Designs – Underground Tattoo". Archived from the original on 2022-08-19. Retrieved 2023-03-23.
  2. ^ Denton-Hurst, Tembe (2020-05-15). "How to (Safely and Hygienically) Tattoo Yourself, According to Tattoo Artists". The Strategist. Archived from the original on 2022-12-03. Retrieved 2023-03-23.
  3. ^ Authority, Pennsylvania Patient Safety. "Surgical Site Markers: Putting Your Mark on Patient Safety | Advisory". Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority. Archived from the original on 2019-09-04. Retrieved 2023-03-23.
  4. ^ Franklin, S. L.; Jayadev, C.; Poulsen, R.; Hulley, P.; Price, A. (2012-03-01). "An ink surgical marker pen is damaging to tendon cells". Bone & Joint Research. 1 (3): 36–40. doi:10.1302/2046-3758.13.2000032. ISSN 2046-3758. PMC 3626194. PMID 23610669.
  5. ^ "New surgical marker keeps surgeons sane in the O.R." 2019-05-10. Archived from the original on 2023-03-23. Retrieved 2023-03-23.
  6. ^ "Skin Marker Pen". Meditech Devices. 2017-01-12. Archived from the original on 2020-02-19. Retrieved 2023-03-23.