Federal health authorities are warning the public to be careful when it comes to temporary tattoos, particularly ones made with “black henna.” Although these types of tattoos are popular during spring break, many people have reported serious and long-lasting reactions such as: redness, blisters, weeping lesions, loss of pigmentation, increased sensitivity to sunlight and permanent scarring, according to the Food and Drug Administration.
Unlike traditional henna – a reddish-brown coloring made from a plant – “black henna” has been causing reactions in many people because it often contains hair dye that is not intended for the skin. The hair dye, p-phenylenediamine, can cause dangerous skin reactions, the FDA states. Although it’s use on skin is illegal, oversight of temporary tattooing varies by state.
“Some states have laws and regulations for temporary tattooing, while others don’t,” states a Consumer Update from the FDA. “So, depending on where you are, it’s possible no one is checking to make sure the artist is following safe practices or even knows what may be harmful to consumers.”
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