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August 2000

Contact Allergy From Temporary Tattoos

Author Affiliations

Copyright 2000 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2000

Arch Dermatol. 2000;136(8):1061-1062. doi:

We read with great interest the article by Lyon et al,1 in the January issue of the ARCHIVES about a case of allergic contact dermatitis reaction due to a henna tattoo. Several cases of contact allergy from temporary tattoos have been reported in the literature and in most, the patch tests showed a positive reaction to paraphenylenediamine.2-6 We have now observed 6 cases of allergic contact reaction to temporary tattoos (mehndi) and in all of our cases the responsible agent was paraphenylenediamine. This is due to the presence of paraphenylenediamine in temporary tattoos, which is used to strengthen the color. In 2 of our 6 cases, the onset of the dermatitis a few weeks after the mehndi tattoo was applied indicates that sensitization to paraphenylenediamine probably occurred as a consequence of the tattoo.