Temporary tattoos are one of the primary ways to express your inner soul. Temporary tattoos have emerged as one of the favorite methods to get some inks without having to make a major commitment. However, latest news from the FDA confirms that these temporary tattoos could cause some serious health related problems.

This week the federal agency has issued a warning letter stating that temporary tattoos also called as Henna contain a chemical called as PPD or Paraphenylenediamine  can cause allergic reaction to human body.

These days’ people use “black henna” widely, which is mixed with various other chemicals and ingredients. The darker color of the tattoo appeals and last longer compared to other combinations. These “black henna” could contain a coal-tar hair dye ingredient called p-phenylenediamine (PPD) which can cause skin reactions in some people and is not approved to be in cosmetics that are applied on the skin. It is a pity that there is no way to tell what kind of dye is being used at many temporary tattoo stands.

There were several incidences that happened in last few days that compelled FDA to take tough stand against temporary tattoos. The first incidence was of a 5-year-old girl who developed red marks on her forearm for two weeks after taking temporary tattoo. In an another incidence, a girl  reportedly had scars on her back when a black henna tattoo was applied. The scars appeared despite the fact that she had red henna tattoos before and never had a negative reaction.

MedWatch, which takes care of FDA’s safety information and adverse event reporting program, has received reports of negative and long-lasting reactions to temporary tattoos. Now that spring break is around the corner, the organization fears that people may consider getting the “risk-free” tattoos art not realizing there may be consequences.

FDA’s safety information and adverse event reporting program, MedWatch has received many reports of long-lasting serious reactions that consumers did not expect when they first got the temporary tattoo. Some of the problems people suffered due to temporary tattoos are:

  • Raised red weeping lesions
  • Redness
  • Blisters
  • Loss of skin pigmentation
  • Increased sensitivity to sunlight and even permanent scarring.

Risks associated with tattoos that are acknowledged by FDA:

  • In case reused needles are used there is a possibility of HIV and Hepatitis Infection
  • Temporary tattoos inks can cause allergic reaction to human skin
  • Granulomas in the form of large or small bumps that form to encapsulate foreign substances, such as tattoo ink particles may cause due to temporary tattooing.
  • MRI studies may cause swelling and burning of tattoos due to metal components in the ink of the tattoo.

Some harmful heavy metals present in tattoo ink:

  • Aluminum
  • Barium
  • Cadmium
  • Chromium
  • Cobalt
  • Copper
  • Iron
  • Lead
  • Mercury
  • Nickel
  • Titanium
  • Zinc