[Temporary tattooing with henna induces contact allergy to textile dyes]

J Dtsch Dermatol Ges. 2003 Dec;1(12):962-4.
[Article in German]


A woman developed widespread contact dermatitis after temporary tattooing with henna, caused by paraphenylenediamine (PPD) which had been added to the henna as an enhancer. The patient recovered after treatment; a week later an acute generalized rebound occurred after she wore dark clothing (black chador). Patch tests revealed type-IV allergy to PPD, along with multiple sensitisations to other textile dyes (disperse orange 3, para-aminoazobenzole, Bismark brown R). Temporary henna tattoos are not always harmless holiday souvenirs. The addition of color enhancers such as PPD into henna may lead to multiple contact allergies to other textile dyes.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / therapeutic use
  • Adult
  • Coloring Agents / adverse effects*
  • Cross Reactions
  • Dermatitis, Contact / diagnosis
  • Dermatitis, Contact / drug therapy
  • Dermatitis, Contact / etiology*
  • Dermatitis, Contact / immunology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Naphthoquinones / adverse effects*
  • Phenylenediamines / adverse effects*
  • Recurrence
  • Skin Tests
  • Tattooing / adverse effects*


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones
  • Coloring Agents
  • Naphthoquinones
  • Phenylenediamines
  • lawsone
  • 4-phenylenediamine