A few weeks back when I was in Cancun, I got a henna tattoo. It’s a really cool turtle. I like henna tattoos because they go away after a few weeks. When I was in Tanzania last August, I got one there. I took this photo of the beach that happened to include my feet and the henna.
About 10 days after the Cancun henna, it started to itch like crazy. It doesn’t look bad. It’s just a rather decorative inflammation. The henna is almost gone, but the after effects are present.
Today I happened to be going to my dermatologist to check on some internal stitches from my last excisions. While I was there, I asked her about the henna reaction. To make the black henna, they add a chemical to it – Paraphenylenediamine (PPD). This is the culprit of my reaction. She prescribed a topical steroid that I’ll use for the next few weeks. My Tanzania henna was probably brown henna and didn’t contain PPD.
Paraphenylenediamine (PPD) is typically found in permanent and semi-permanent hair dyes. It’s good that I don’t color my hair black! If this is used in a real tattoo and you react to it, it can be very serious. When that’s the case, they have to remove the tattoo and it is NOT done by laser. They have to cut it out. Yowsa!
So if you’re thinking of getting a tattoo, check to make sure you’re not allergic to the dyes being used. There could be some really serious issues if you do.