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Temporary Tattoo Dangers to Children

A doctor has issued a warning to parents when it comes to wearing temporary tattoos created with black henna. Dr. Sharon E. Jacob in a presentation to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) notes that black henna commonly used in creating temporary tattoos, causes serious skin reactions.

Dr. Jacob, assistant clinical professor of pediatrics and medicine (dermatology) at the University of California, San Diego was particularly concerned about the effects on children, although adults also suffered allergic reactions to the dye. The offending chemical component responsible for skin irritation in black henna is para-phenylenediamine (PPD).

Use of black henna can result in eczema, swelling, blisters and even lead to permanent scarring, among other things. In her presentation, Dr. Jacob also noted that children as young as four were getting tattoos created with black henna and were reacting to the dye.

Black henna is used at fairs & carnivals, malls and other places where families take children for entertainment. According to Dr. Jacob there is a popular belief that black henna is harmless, but she states that ?nothing could be further from the truth.? She is quoted on MSN Health & Fitness discussing this misconception: ?Kids make up a significant portion of the population that receives temporary tattoos, because parents mistakenly think they are safe, since they are not permanent??

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does prohibit the use of para-phenylenediamine (PPD) directly on skin. However, persons still add black henna to natural henna (which is safe) so as to make the markings more long-lasting.

The next time you go somewhere and want to allow your child or children to get those attractive temporary tattoos ask what ingredients are in the dye being used. If it contains PPD, you should just walk away. This doesn?t mean that all henna is dangerous and cause allergic reactions. Vegetable henna that has not been modified with the addition of PPD is safe for use.

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