Warning on temporary tattoos

Health Canada warns black henna temp. tattoos may have chemical, PPD, causing skin problems.

Health Canada is warning consumers against the use of some black henna temporary tattoo ink and paste.

The henna may contain para-phenylenediamine, or PPD, which the department says is unsafe and should not be used.

The department has collected reports of allergic reactions to PPD including skin rashes, itching, blisters, open sores, scarring and skin inflammations.

Allergic reactions to PPD can also lead to sensitivity to other products such as hair dye and sun block.

Cosmetics containing PPD are illegal in Canada, including the black henna temporary tattoos, which are often sold and applied at artists markets, fairs and amusement parks.

Health Canada says consumers should ask the vendor if there's PPD in the ink or paste. If they don't know, don't get it applied.

Here are some tips to help you figure out if there's PPD in the henna:

  • if the formula and the tattoo are jet black
  • PPD stains typically last one to three weeks without fading
  • PPD henna mixes usually have little or no scent