Background/purpose: Tattoos have become increasingly popular followed by a growing demand for tattoo removal, and yet there is little knowledge and monitoring of tattoo pigment deposition in skin layers. The purpose of this pilot study is to describe optical coherence tomography image characteristics of intradermal tattoos. Methods: We included five blacktattoos in 3 female volunteers, 39, 35 and 30 years old. In vivo imaging of tattoo pigments in the skin is possible with optical coherence tomography (OCT), a novel non-invasive, in vivo optical imaging technology with a resolution and a penetration in skin high enough for visualization of tattoo pigment in the dermis. Results: In optical coherence tomography images tattoo pigments clusters appear as dark, homogenous vertical columns and structures in the papillary dermis. OCT-scanned normal skin (without tattoos) appeared to be free of this dark structure. Conclusion: We have demonstrated that OCT can be used to visualize clusters of light absorbing pigments in a predictable manner.