Think twice about getting a temporary tattoo. The risk of infection from permanent tattoos is well known, but the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently warned that temporary tattoos, where the ink is applied just on the skin’s surface, can also cause severe reactions, depending on the type of ink used.
Reported side effects include severe reddening, welts, blistering, loss of pigmentation, and, sometimes, permanent scarring.
The problem is “black henna” containing p-phenylenediamine (PPD, derived from coal and also used in hair dyes), not the traditional plant-based red/brown henna dyes. PPD is not approved for use on the skin.
Unless you can be assured that the ink contains only traditional henna, temporary tattoos are not worth the risk.