eISSN: 2299-0046
ISSN: 1642-395X
Advances in Dermatology and Allergology/Postępy Dermatologii i Alergologii
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vol. 26

Case report
A holiday souvenir – contact dermatitis after henna tattoo

Ewa Willak-Janc

Post Dermatol Alergol 2009; XXVI, 1: 65–70
Online publish date: 2009/03/05
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Applying make-up and tattoos is centuries old and within the space of centuries has had various meanings in various cultures. In recent years body make-up especially by means of tattoos in summer seems to have aroused enormous interest among young people. Use of the so-called safe tattoo seems to be an alternative to the traditional one, i.e. the permanent one. Such type of make-up usually involves the use of henna. Until recently, henna was regarded as a harmless, safe, natural agent for hair and skin dyeing. The durability of a tattoo made by means of henna is 10-14 days. Henna is a dye which originates from the leaves of a shrub called Lawson’s shrub. Para-phenylenediamine (PPD) is often added to achieve a more definite colour, which may be a cause of a variety of undesirable skin changes. We will introduce a case of three children who had a tattoo made by an accidental person by means of black henna. As a result they developed erythema and itching first at the site of the tattoo and finally on the whole body. The changes became markedly aggravated, which led to the formation of lesions along the tattoo. The use of black henna containing PPD for tattoos is not safe because there is a risk of various types of skin changes. In many countries such tattoos are forbidden altogether.
Key words: tattoo, para-phenylenediamine, contact dermatitis, henna tattoo.

tattoo, para-phenylenediamine, contact dermatitis, henna tattoo

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