Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The More You Know: Henna Tattoos

My Black Henna Tattoo
A beautiful henna tattoo...I had always wanted to get one. For years, I had been indecisive about getting one, mostly because I could never choose the perfect design for me. I tried to get one in New York, Los Angeles, and my chance finally came a few weeks ago when I was in Costa Maya. My sister and I got beautiful henna tattoos and we were so excited to show them off! A few days later, my sister called me and asked if I was experiencing itching on my tattoo which I wasn't but almost a week later, as the tattoo started to fade, I noticed very tiny bumps appearing on areas where the tattoo was! That's when I was shocked! My sister seems to be allergic to anything but me, I'm allergic to virtually nothing!

So then I decided to do some research to see what the cause of the bumps were and found a very informative article on iVillage. The article states that "Black henna tattoos contain a chemical called para-phenylenediamine (PPD) that can cause serious skin reactions, the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) warns."

PPD is commonly used in hair dyes and is also added to henna tattoos to increase the longevity of the tattoo. The US Food and Drug Administration prohibits the application of PPD directly on the skin because of its known health risks. Reactions to this chemical can range from mild eczema to permanent scarring. Each skin exposure to PPD increases your chances of a lifelong allergic reaction. The most alarming thing I read in the article is that the number of children receiving black henna tattoos is growing and most parents have no idea of the side effects.

The take away from this little lesson is "If you want to get a henna tattoo, make sure that it's only vegetable henna, not PPD-adulterated henna." Follow this link to read more.

I have learned my lesson and will be asking more questions about henna tattoos from now on.


robin said...

Oh no! Sorry that happened to you! (But it is beautiful!)

bettyl said...

It sure is a lovely design and sad that you had to find out about it the way you did. Thanks for sharing your info with us!

Monica said...

Make sure that it has no chemical compounds. I step the same and I painted in Marrakesh. The drawing is very nice

Lisa @ Serah's said...

Thanks everyone. I will definitely be asking more questions the next time.