-- Robert Preidt
TUESDAY, March 26 (HealthDay News) -- As thousands of college
students head to sunny spots for spring break, getting temporary
tattoos may seem like a fun thing to do. But the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration warns that they can cause blisters and permanent
While the ink used for permanent tattoos is injected into the
skin, temporary tattoos are applied to the skin's surface.
Temporary tattoos often use "black henna," which may contain a
coal-tar hair dye containing p-phenylenediamine (PPD), an
ingredient that can cause dangerous skin reactions in some
By law, PPD is not permitted in cosmetics intended to be applied
to the skin, the FDA noted.
The agency has received reports of serious and long-lasting
reactions in people who received temporary black henna tattoos. The
reported problems include redness, blisters, raised red weeping
lesions, loss of pigmentation, increased sensitivity to sunlight
and permanent scarring. The reactions can occur immediately or up
to two or three weeks later.
Incidents involving black henna tattoos that were reported to
the FDA include:
The FDA said that people who have a reaction to, or concern
about, a temporary tattoo should contact a health care professional
and contact MedWatch, which is the agency's safety information and
problem-reporting program. This can be done online or by phoning
The Nemours Foundation offers youngsters information about
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