Girardi | Keese

FDA warns of black henna's dangerous side effects

If you're a parent of a teenager in California, there are a lot of things you worry about when it comes to them growing up. Though many concerns may stem from the fear that your child might be accidentally hurt, the dreaded 'tattoo talk' conjures up not only permanent choices but sometimes copious amounts of pain as well.

One way the industry has tried to calm parental fears is to offer temporary tattoos; though if you're dealing with a teen nearing the age of 18, we're not talking about the press-on sticker-like ones you find in your morning cereal. We're talking about the temporary tattoos that you more than likely have seen while walking up and down the many beaches of California. But according to the FDA, these tattoos may be just as dangerous as the real life ones they're trying to imitate.

According to the FDA many of these temporary tattoos are made with "black henna" ink that uses a coal-tar product that dyes the skin a blackish color. Although approved for use in hair dye, the FDA points out that this dangerous product has been known to cause serious skin irritation which is causing considerable concern as the number of injury reports continue to rise.

In a majority of the cases, the ink causes horrible side effects such as redness and blistering of the skin. One mother, after seeing how her teenage daughter's skin reacted to a black henna tattoo, compared the look of her skin to that of a burn victim.

Despite the numerous injuries, some even having resulted in permanent damage, the FDA at this time is only issuing a warning for the product. According to the agency, some states have laws and regulations about temporary tattoos while others do not. It's because of these differences in laws and lack of proper warnings from the FDA that people are continuing to get injured from this product-a fact no parent is happy to hear.

Source: Shine from Yahoo!, "Caution: Black Henna Temporary Tattoos Could Leave Permanent Scars," Lylah M. Alphonse, March 26, 2013

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