Topic Overview

Using henna

Direct application of henna to the skin to create a temporary tattoo is a process known as mehndi.

Health Canada recommends that you avoid black henna dyes and pastes for henna tattoos that contain para-phenylenediamine (PPD) because of the risk of an allergic reaction. Health Canada encourages everyone to report adverse reactions to permanent and temporary tattoos to their local health unit.

The risk of developing a severe allergic reaction to henna increases after an episode of contact dermatitis. For that reason, it is recommended that you avoid hair dyes containing henna if you have had a previous problem with an allergic reaction to henna in a temporary tattoo.

Your first henna tattoo should be in a place where you can cover it if it lasts longer than you expect. It is not a good idea try to remove your henna tattoo; let it naturally wear off. Be very careful not damage your skin—do not scrub or pick at your tattoo.

Related Information


ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine

Current as ofNovember 20, 2015