The British Skin Foundation* (BSF) has re-issued its seasonal warning about so-called 'black-henna' temporary tattoos (BHTTs) to raise awareness of the dangers they can pose with its #AvoidBlackHenna Campaign.
Parents hoping to treat their children to a temporary tattoo on holiday or at the funfair, along with party-goers at festivals may not realise that they can result in severe skin reactions.
The majority of BHTTs are not based on henna at all, but a substance called para-phenylenediamine (PPD) which is found in hair dyes. PPD is safely allowed for use in hair dyes, but use in skin contact products such as temporary tattoos is illegal in the EU (but may not be in all other countries).
When PPD is used on the skin in this way it can cause blistering, painful skin burns and may even lead to scarring. It can also leave the person with a lifelong sensitivity to PPD, which increases the risk of a severe allergic reaction when using hair dye in the future.
People who have ever had a reaction after using a hair dye are particularly at risk. Allergies can develop over time, and it is so important to remember to always carry out the Allergy Alert Test 48 hours every time before colouring your hair. Tingling or redness could be signs you are developing an allergy and these may not appear until 48 hours have passed. Find out more about how allergies develop here.
Download the BSF Press Release that warns of the dangers of so-called 'black henna' temporary tattoos (BHTTs) and highlights research from dermatologists showing an increase in reactions at their clinics across the UK.
Dr Christopher Flower, Former Director-General CTPA, backs the BSF #AvoidBlackHenna Campaign: "The message is clear: having a 'black-henna' temporary tattoo presents a significant risk of a very nasty adverse reaction to the tattoo itself. It also increases the risk of either not being able to use most hair dyes in the future or having a bad reaction to them if the warnings are ignored. This summer, parents will want to keep their children safe by steering clear of so-called 'black-henna' temporary tattoos."