Temporary tattoos are made from henna, a reddish-brown pigment extracted from the flowering plant, Lawsonia inermis, which grows in parts of Africa and Asia. This dye has been used for centuries in cosmetics and in coloring the hair.
In recent times, this original henna is mixed with hair dye, p-phenylenediamine (PPD), to prepare black-henna, which gives a more appealing look and lasts long. FDA has reported that the chemical, PPD, causes allergic skin reactions including redness, blisters, oozing lesions, increased sensitivity to sunlight and permanent scarring.
Case studies of seven patients suffering from allergic reactions to hair and eyelash dyes were reported in a study published in the journal, German Society of Dermatology. PPD was found to be the causative agent for the side effects.
FDA has asked people who suspect having reactions to temporary tattoos to report to MedWatch or regional consumer complaint coordinator.