Dr. Joel Schlessinger warns about the dangers of a chemical found in black henna tattoos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In an article titled “Temporary Tattoos May Put You at Risk,” the FDA recently reported that a chemical found in black henna tattoos could cause allergic reactions.

Traditional henna, which is reddish-brown in color, originates from a flowering plant found in tropical and subtropical regions of Africa, southern Asia and northern Australia. It has been used to dye hair, skin and fingernails for centuries. But black henna is a different story. It may include coal-tar hair dye containing p-phenylenediamine (PPD), an ingredient that can cause dangerous skin reactions in some people.

The side effects of these temporary tattoos can be treated, but permanent scarring is sometimes unavoidable. Dr. Joel Schlessinger explains.

Allergic reactions to black henna can occur immediately after application or as long as two to three weeks later. The FDA has received consumer reports of these temporary tattoos causing blisters, redness, loss of pigmentation, “raised, red weeping lesions” and an increased sensitivity to sunlight.

Dr. Joel Schlessinger says these symptoms are often treated with topical steroids, oral steroids or antihistamines. In some cases, patients with severe allergic reactions can develop permanent scarring.

Avoid temporary tattoos, Dr. Joel Schlessinger says, especially those offered by kiosks found in popular travel destinations.

PPD is banned in cosmetics and the Department of Public Health regulates parlors that provide permanent tattoos, but many states don’t have official standards for temporary tattoos. Without proper regulation, this dangerous chemical has been found in kiosks on beaches, boardwalks and foreign resorts.

One way to avoid these dangerous skin reactions is to consider the product. Traditional henna usually fades within a few days. When kiosks promise darker, longer-lasting temporary tattoos, Dr. Joel Schlessinger says this is a sign they could be using black henna.

The best way to stay safe, he says, is to complete avoid temporary tattoos of any kind.

Have you had a bad experience with temporary tattoos? Let us know in the comments.

Posted Thursday, April 4th, 2013 at 6:47 pm
Filed Under Category: Dermatology, Skin Care, Skin Care Myths
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