Black henna

Risks of black henna tattoos

Temporary tattoos are attractive to those who have not yet finished deciding on a permanent one. The fear of thinking that a Black henna tattoo can hurt a lot or that it remains on the skin forever and then you regret it, are almost always the main reasons to opt for a temporary tattoo.

It is clear that a temporary tattoo is easy to apply, it is cheaper, apparently harmless in terms of care and risks, and that with time they disappear. Henna is the most used product for this type of temporary tattoo.

You may wonder if something as natural as henna can carry risks, and the answer is yes. So before getting a temporary tattoo you should take certain things into account.

Natural henna

Henna is a natural pigment obtain from the Lawsonia inermis plant that leaves the skin dye a reddish-brown color and that is eliminate after two or three weeks with successive washing. Natural henna has been used for centuries on a regular basis in Muslim and Hindu countries for cosmetic purposes. It has very rarely caused adverse reactions.

Black henna

Black henna
Black henna

In the West, henna is adulterate with various additives in order to prevent deterioration and, above all, to darken the pigment to give it a blacker appearance. Black henna is an illegal and clandestine product. You will not find it in cosmetic stores, herbalists or in pharmacies, or other establishments, because its use is not authorized.

The manufacturing process is unclear, and the exact composition of each particular preparation is unknown, thus violating the cosmetic regulations. All this gives rise to a lack of sanitary control where we do not know exactly (because they do not specify it) if the henna used contains prohibited substances.

What chemicals can black henna contain?

Among some, I can name you zirconium salts or high doses of other substances that carry allergic risks. But I’ll tell you about paraphenylenediamine. This substance is found as an ingredient in 99% of permanent and semi-permanent hair dyes, and is also part of black rubbers, printing inks, cutting fluids used in the metallurgical industry, as well as other tools of domestic use such as polishes or paints. This all sounds bad, right?


Complications with these types of tattoos are very frequent. The risk of getting hepatitis C or other related diseases such as skin pricks is almost non-existent, but the possibility of succumbing to a superficial gram-positive infection (pyodermatitis) is not rule out. An allergic skin reaction may develop consisting of allergic sensitizations where the tattoo was made.

What are allergic reactions like?

Skin inflammation occurs in the area where the tattoo has been made. It can occur after applying the product, or after a few weeks. It will usually be a rash, which can be moderate or severe in nature. Sometimes the appearance of the infection is eczematous (appearance of bumps, hives, scaly skin and blisters). Dark spots may also appear or, if the problem worsens, result in keloid scars. Keloids are unsightly, since the skin remains exaggeratedly bulging, as if it had been the result of a cut, burn, chickenpox or a poorly cured vaccine. These lumps become unpleasant and traumatic for people who suffer from it.

Does an allergic reaction to henna heal soon?

It can vary in some cases since the body of each individual is a world. Usually, the problem goes away in a matter of a few weeks; provided that it treated with an anti-inflammatory treatment base on corticosteroids in the form of a cream. You have to bear in mind that those residues that have made you feel bad remain on the skin, and until your body expels them, the problem is not resolve. Then, in the worst case, sensitizations are the result of an allergic reaction. I advise you not to repeat a black henna tattoo if you have been through that bad drink.

The advice I give you is that you choose natural henna tattoos, as it does not carry risks. If you opt for black henna, you should have a skin test. It is almost like what is done when we apply a hair dye for the first time. In one area of ​​the skin, we let the product react for 24 hours, and if you see that there is no reaction, no problems should arise. Although you must bear in mind that there are cases in which the allergy occurs later, as secondary or crossed allergies; especially in the area of ​​the hands, which is the place that is usually chosen. There it can appear a very annoying chronic eczema. And most importantly, if you have any questions or symptoms, go to a dermatologist quickly. Click Here