A 7 year old boy in Langford is scarred as the result of a black henna tattoo, and his mom, Sarah Leslie, is warning other moms to keep their kids off the henna. The family went to Mexico last month on a family vacation, and little Taylor was permitted to have some vacay fun with what was thought of as a henna tattoo. The tattoo lasted the length of their trip, and a few weeks past. After it had worn off, an ugly angry welt was left behind, and the scar was not the only angry being in the family….

Leslie took Taylor to the doctor and did some online research that helped her to discover that the henna mark was probably the cause of paraphenylenediamine, or PPD, the same material that is found in hair dye, but in remarkably lower concentrations when it comes to henna tattoos.

Health Canada has actually just recently put out a warning about PPD, AKA black henna, and saying that just this reaction can occur – rash, welts, blistering, dermatitis, and in rare cases, open wounds. Once an individual has suffered from an allergic reaction such as this, they will be more prone to further sensitivities when using PPD products such as hair dyes or sunblock.

Sarah was shocked to learn that this reaction is commonplace, and the public is not informed. Having been to Mexico several times, she says they are very common all over the country, and her own son was tattooed in a four star resort. She firmly believes that the ‘delayed reaction’ to the dyes is what allows artists to be able to get away with it.

Taylor is doing fine now, and thinks its kind of cool, as any 7 year old would. He can’t wait to get to school and tell his friends about his ‘real tattoo’. And he may be able to pull it off since his welt has only faded, not disappeared completely as mom would like. His doctor says it may even be permanent. The reaction can worsen with repeated exposure so Taylor is ‘on alert’ so as not to experience this again.

Henna buyers beware, if you want to avoid the same mishap, go with colors in the red or green families as these are produced from plant leaves to form a paste with no PPD product.