Black henna is painted onto the skin as temporary tattoos. It is important to note that the black paste utilized in these temporary tattoos might include high levels of a toxic chemical dye.
What are the risks?
The potential risk of black henna is in its ingredients, specifically paraphenylenediamine (PPD). This chemical is widely used in hair dye products, but it is strictly controlled.
PPD is safely used in permanent hair dyes with instructions to be followed. In black henna, it often includes PPD at high levels to achieve the dark color quickly.
Once applied on the skin as a black henna tattoo, PPD might trigger a chemical burn and even lead to an allergic reaction.
Dealing with chemicals burns from PPD-based black henna
Not all develops a reaction to black henna but can be painful if one occurs. The indications range from discomfort such as tingling or burning, stinging, redness, swelling and even skin blistering. In some cases, it can be severe and lead to lasting scarring of the skin in the outline of the tattoo.
Once this type of reaction occurs, a doctor must be seen right away. The individual might be treated for chemical burn and possibly an allergic reaction. In case a reaction persists or worsens, the individual must be taken to a doctor since the area might become infected.
Sensitization to PPD
Aside from the discomfort and potential scarring from a response to the black henna tattoo, there is a risk for being sensitized to PPD.
If the individual is exposed to PPD in the future, a severe form of allergic reaction might arise. These allergic reactions can worsen over time.
If an individual had a reaction to black henna tattoo, it is likely for him/her to be allergic to PPD and must be careful before using hair dye products.