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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote, and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, and community efforts.
Contact the Tattooing Program
The Florida Department of Health urges individuals to be aware of the risks associated with getting a "temporary black henna tattoo." The department has received reports of allergic reactions and injuries, including permanent scarring of the skin from temporary black henna tattoos that are popular with those who want to enjoy a "temporary" tattoo.
In recent years, "black henna tattoos" have become popular, particular in beach resort communities. Black henna tattoos, unlike natural brown or reddish brown tattoos, are not always safe and are known to have produced from minor to serious adverse health effects in children and adults. The black henna tattoos are applied using the stencil method. The unsafe black henna paste produces a black design because para-phenylenediamine (PPD), a toxic chemical which is exempt from approval by the FDA and is included in small amounts in black hair dye, has been added to the paste. The addition of PPD dyes the skin quicker and makes the tattoo look more like a permanent tattoo.
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