• Ana Gonzalez Ribeiro

Be Careful of Black Henna Tattoos

Updated: Mar 7, 2019

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the temporary black henna tattoo used in place of the traditional henna can be potentially harmful to some people. The ink used in henna may actually be hair dye or a mix of other ingredients such as a coal-tar hair dye containing p-phenylenediamine (PPD), “which can cause dangerous reactions in some people” according to the FDA By law, this PPD chemical is not permitted in cosmetics used to stain the skin. The report states that these black henna tattoos may be used in temporary tattoo kiosks at beaches, boardwalks as well as ethnic or specialty shops. Depending on the state, it’s possible no one is checking the safe practices of the artist. Some people have had bad reactions to this black henna temporary tattoo occurring within immediate contact to two to three weeks later. Some reported problems include redness, blisters, raised red weeping lesions, loss of pigmentation, increased sensitivity to sunlight, permanent scarring and ongoing skin sensitivity.


If you have a reaction to or concern about a temporary tattoo or any other cosmetic, contact your health care professional. In addition, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) asks you to contact FDA’s Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program at 1-800-FDA-1088 or online at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch/default.htm. You can also contact an FDA consumer complaint coordinator in your area. A list of coordinators can be found at: http://www.fda.gov/safety/reportaproblem/consumercomplaintcoordinators

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Disclaimer: The information contained on this site is intended for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for advice, diagnosis or treatment by a licensed physician. You should seek prompt medical care for any health issues and consult your doctor before taking dietary supplements or making any major dietary changes.

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