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Steven J. Klearman
Steven J. Klearman
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FDA Warns: Temporary Tattoos May Not Be Safe

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With Spring break here and summer around the corner many people are getting a temporary tattoo to mark the occasion but they may be at risk for adverse side effects.

Temporary tattoos also referred to as “henna,” can last from three days to several weeks depending on the product. Unlike permanent tattoos, which are injected into the skin, the temporary tattoo is applied to the skin’s surface. However, because a tattoo is temporary, doesn’t mean it’s without risk, warns Linda Katz, M.D. M.P.H., director of FDA’s Office of Cosmetics and Colors. In some instances there have been reports of severe reactions that long outlast the temporary tattoo.

The FDA has received several reports of serious, long-lasting reactions including redness, blisters, loss of pigmentations, sensitivity to light and in extreme cases, permanent scarring. Some people have sought medical care including a trip to the emergency room. Reactions were reported anywhere from immediately up to two to three weeks after application.

For more information on the issues and concerns of wearing temporary tattoos, please visit the FDA Website.