The British Skin Foundation is issuing a warning this summer to parents over so-called ‘black henna’ temporary tattoos (BHTTs).
This advice was issued after research among dermatologists revealed they are seeing an increase in reactions at their clinics.
Parents hoping to treat their children to a temporary tattoo on holiday or at the funfair, along with party-goers at festivals may not realise the dangers of the Black Henna tattoos.
The majority of BHTT are not based on henna at all, but a substance called para-phenylenediamine (PPD) which is found in hair dyes. PPD is allowed for use in hair dye, but its use for skin contact products such as temporary tattoos is illegal in the European Union.
When PPD is used on the skin in this way it can cause blistering, painful skin burns and may even lead to scarring.
It can also leave the person with a lifelong sensitivity to PPD, which increases the risk of a severe allergic reaction when using hair dye in the future.