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2012 | 7 | 1 | 124-128

Article title

Henna tattoo contact dermatitis - a report of four cases and brief review of the selected literature


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Temporary henna tattoos have recently become increasingly popular, especially among teenagers. Combining henna with other colouring agents such as para-phenylenediamine (PPD) may increase its potential for contact sensitization, cross-reaction to related compounds, as well as life-long allergy. Several cases of contact dermatitis from temporary tattoos with black henna have been reported in the literature. We present our experiences with 4 pediatric cases of allergic contact dermatitis induced by henna tattooing and give a brief review of the literature. The agent responsible for contact allergy was proven to be PPD in 3 patients, and in one patch testing revealed positive reactions to PPD and benzocaine, as well as to wool alcohols, nickel sulphate and potassium dichromate, to previously used hair dye-all being of clinical relevance.










Physical description


1 - 2 - 2012
24 - 11 - 2011


  • Pediatric Clinic, Institute of Child and Youth Health Care of Vojvodina, Hajduk Veljkova 10, 21000, Novi Sad, Serbia
  • Pediatric Clinic, Institute of Child and Youth Health Care of Vojvodina, Hajduk Veljkova 10, 21000, Novi Sad, Serbia
  • Dermatovenereological Clinic, Clinical Centre of Vojvodina, Hajduk Veljkova 1, 21000, Novi Sad, Serbia
  • Dermatovenereological Clinic, Clinical Centre of Vojvodina, Hajduk Veljkova 1, 21000, Novi Sad, Serbia
  • Dermatovenereological Clinic, Clinical Centre of Vojvodina, Hajduk Veljkova 1, 21000, Novi Sad, Serbia
  • Dermatovenereological Clinic, Clinical Centre of Vojvodina, Hajduk Veljkova 1, 21000, Novi Sad, Serbia


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  • [7] Brancaccio RR, Brown LH, Chang YT, Fogelman JP, Mafong EA, Cohen DE. Identification and quantification of para-phenylenediamine in a temporary black henna tattoo. Am J Contact Dermatitis 2002;13:15–18 http://dx.doi.org/10.1053/ajcd.2002.30466[Crossref]
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  • [19] Van den Keybus C, Morren MA, Goossens A. Walking difficulties due to an allergic reaction to a temporary tattoo. Contact Dermatitis 2005; 53(3): 180–181 http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.0105-1873.2005.0407m.x[Crossref]
  • [20] Jung P, Sesztak-Greinecker G, Wantke F, Gotz M, Jarisch R, Hemmer W. A painful experience: black henna tattoo causing severe, bullous contact dermatitis. Contact Dermatitis 2006; 54(4): 219–220 http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.0105-1873.2006.0775g.x[Crossref]
  • [21] Spornraft-Ragaller P, Kämmerer E, Gillitzer K, Schmitt J. Severe allergic reactions to para-phenylenediamine in children and adolescents: should the patch test concentration of PPD be changed? JDDG 2011;9: In press
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  • [23] Jappe U, Hausen BM, Petzold D. Erythema-multiforme-like reactions and depigmentation following allergic contact dermatitis from a painton henna tattoo, due to para-phenylenediamine contact hypersensitivity. Contact Dermatitis 2001;45:249–250 http://dx.doi.org/10.1034/j.1600-0536.2001.450420.x[Crossref]
  • [24] Sosted H, Johansen JD, Andersen KE, Menne T. Severe allergic hair dye reactions in 8 children. Contact Dermatitis 2006;54(2):87–91 http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.0105-1873.2006.00746.x
  • [25] Martin JA, Hughes TM, Stone NM. ’Black henna’ tattoos: an occult source of natural rubber latex allergy? Contact Dermatitis 2005; 52(3):145–146 http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.0105-1873.2005.00547.x[Crossref]
  • [26] Jung P, Sesztak-Greinecker G, Wantke F, Gotz M, Jarisch R, Hemmer W. The extent of black henna tattoo’s complications are not restricted to PPD-sensitization. Contact Dermatitis 2006; 55(1):57 http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.0105-1873.2006.0847d.x[Crossref]
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  • [29] Saunders H, O’Brien T, Nixon R. Textile dye allergic contact dermatitis following paraphenylenediamine sensitization from a temporary tattoo. Australas J Dermatol 2004; 45:229–231 http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1440-0960.2004.00110.x[Crossref]
  • [30] Kang IJ, Lee MH. Quantification of paraphenylenediamine and heavy metals in henna dye. Contact Dermatitis 2006; 55(1):26–29 http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.0105-1873.2006.00845.x[Crossref]

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