Temporary tattoos harmful too

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What’s the harm in a temporary tattoo applied at the beach or boardwalk or state fair? Maybe a lot is wrong.


The FDA is reporting problems such as redness, blisters, raised red weeping sores, loss of skin color, increased sensitivity to sunlight, and even permanent scarring from seemingly harmless henna tattoos.


Here’s why. Some temporary tattoo “artists” are using harmful coloring such as hair dye or “black henna” instead of traditional henna, a reddish-brown coloring made from a flowering plant.


Inks marketed as black henna may be a mix of henna with other ingredients, or may really be hair dye alone. The reason for adding other ingredients is to create a tattoo that is darker and longer lasting, but use of black henna is potentially harmful. The temporary tattoos made with black henna are dark black.


Temporary tattooing is not regulated by anyone. No one is checking to make sure the artist is following safe practices. Don’t assume this is a safe thing to do.


For any problems or long-lasting rashes, see a doctor. You may report a problem to the FDA’s MedWatch: www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch/HowToReport/default.htm.

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