Home > Urban Legends > Temporary Tattoos can Scar

Temporary Tattoos can Scar

By: Chris Welsh - Updated: 2 Nov 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Henna Black Henna Blue Henna Tattoos

Vacationing on a cruise ship can be a lot of fun and the ports of call can be exciting. Stopping off in the Bahamas offers a lot of sights and experiences, and many a cruiser gets their hair done in beads and braids to carry a memento of the trip with them, at least for a little while. But some of the other booths manned by locals are being shunned- those offering temporary tattoos. Once a thriving tourist business, these places are losing out thanks to the urban legend that temporary tattoos can scar- an urban legend that happens to be correct.

Temporary Tattoos can Scar

Tattoos are a permanent bit of body art in most situations. Needles are used to inject die into the skin, rendering images that the bearer had better be fond of. In some cases, however, tattoos can be tried out before becoming a permanent feature of the body. In these cases the tattoos are painted on the body using henna. Left to dry, henna paint will stay on the skin for a number of days, eventually fading into nothingness. But there have been reports that black henna can actually scar the skin, turning a temporary lark into a painful, permanent memory.

Natural henna is not black, but rather an orange brown. A tattoo made with natural henna can be readily identified by its color, something that caused some to wish for a more realistic tattoo experience. Thus tattoo artist began mixing colors with the natural henna, and in seeking to emulate the basic black of tattoos, mixed PPD, a chemical named Para Phenylendimaine The result is black henna die that looks exactly like a real tattoo. The problem is that PPD has been known to scar.

The Origin of the Temporary Tattoo Urban Legend

Quite simply, people who received black henna tattoos had allergic reactions, and they or people they knew used the internet to spread the word in warning. The problem is not the henna, but rather the PPD, which some people have an allergic reaction to. This is not a mild allergic reaction, but rather redness, swelling, and even skin sloughing. What was supposed to be body art that lasted a few days may leave a permanent disfiguration, and all because the henna tattoo artists are not warning their customers.

Henna is an old root that needs to be mixed with oils to become the paste needed for tattooing, and even natural henna can sometimes cause a reaction. When mixed with PPD to make black – or sometimes blue—henna, this reaction can cause a permanent change in the victim’s physiology. Even if they escape the scarring, they may be forever hyper sensitive to products that contain the chemical PPD, such as many hair dyes.

Final Thoughts

This is one case were an Urban Legend was spawned by the facts, but the facts sounded so much like a typical urban legend that it attained the label. This urban legend serves as fair warning to anyone seeking a temporary tattoo that didn’t come from a rub-on transfer – beware the black henna.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
I use temporary tattoos a lot and I have never got a scar from them. I see people wear them all the time and they don't get scars from them. This proves that this Urban legend is false. Parents probably use this legend so children don't want to get temporary tattos.
Pumpkinhead - 2-Nov-17 @ 1:48 AM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • Mom3
    Re: A Black Cat Crossing Your Path
    Came on my front porch to a black cat lying in a broken chair not afraid of me or my kids at all ....is this bad
    19 November 2019
  • God
    Re: The Number 13
    I died being the 13th guest at a supper and now I hope no one will think 13 is a good number and love to you all and I am so sorry for your loss lily.
    13 November 2019
  • mdg85
    Re: Do Birds Flying Into A Home Equate To Death?
    6 years ago, I was visiting my mon & grandma at my mom's house. While there, a bird flew into my mom's back…
    3 November 2019
  • Jlove
    Re: Do Birds Flying Into A Home Equate To Death?
    After work and picking up my daughter frm school we get home to a lil grey bird in the house just flying…
    1 November 2019
  • Patron saint of fool
    Re: Saluting Magpies
    The Parastrategist and a General theory of strategy The first parallel of corporate strategy is customer focus and is designed for…
    30 September 2019
  • Tootie
    Re: A Black Cat Crossing Your Path
    I had a black cat on my porch all last night sitting there was does that mean
    22 September 2019
  • Dolce
    Re: Do Birds Flying Into A Home Equate To Death?
    Two small birds flew inside my house this morning through roof openings, and flew out again when my son…
    31 August 2019
  • CatLady
    Re: Stonehenge
    As a little girl,I always loved the 'Standing Stones' They were so magic seeming, and every year when me and my family drove down to Cornwall on holiday,…
    7 August 2019
  • Capt'
    Re: Use a Match to Remove a Tick
    I haven't tried it yet, but I read that the removal with match method has nothing to do with burning the tick off. Instead, the…
    15 July 2019
  • Sandy
    Re: Do Birds Flying Into A Home Equate To Death?
    I have these doves, the grey ones, flying into my bedroom almost every morning and cooing. When I run them…
    2 July 2019