As winter fades into spring and spring moves in the summer, more and more women will look for ways to enhance their increasingly swimsuited bodies. According to Marla Ahlgrimm, one way that women do this is by using henna tattoos. Unfortunately, some henna body decorations can cause unwelcome side-effects.
According to Marla Ahlgrimm, henna is a type of coloring, which is actually only approved for hair dye, that many people use on the body to create a temporary “tattoo.” Most henna tattoos have other dyes and colors added to them to create a brown, red, or black tint. While these can make for a more attractive design on the skin, many women are allergic to certain components.
Marla Ahlgrimm says the most concerning is PPD. This is a dye derived from coal-tar that can actually cause welts that look much like burns on the body. This is most common in black henna tattoos. The NHS reports that this type of tattoo can leave you scarred for life. More alarmingly, some people have a life-threatening reaction to the dyes.
Generally, although henna is not approved for use on the body, unadulterated products, which are red or brown, don’t cause any serious reactions.
Another important consideration, says Marla Ahlgrimm, is that exposure to PPD can leave you sensitized to this chemical. Even if you do not experience an immediate reaction from a PPD-based henna tattoo, if you’re exposed to this again in the future, you can have a significant reaction, which could result in hospitalization.
Marla Ahlgrimm suggests that women who have an allergic reaction to black henna consult with their healthcare provider or an emergency walk-in clinic. If this is not an immediate option, a salt water soak or gentle exfoliating scrub may help remove some of the dye. Any affected area should be washed with antibacterial soap.