Health Officials Warn Tourists About Black Henna Tattoos

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PANAMA CITY BEACH -- Temporary tattoos have always been popular with tourist, especially spring breakers. But those temporary decorations and sometimes leave a life-long reminder. Health officials are once again sounding the warnings against certain henna tattoos.

Krystallin Rogers has been a tattoo artist on the beach for twelve years. She doesn't sell black henna tattoos at her shop, but she's familiar with the effects.

"I have had several people come back at other places that I’ve worked and they've come back with scars they're really red...Irritation some of them have to actually go to the hospital for it," Rogers said.

Black henna tattoos contain a substance called PPD which is found in black hair dye. It can sometimes cause allergic reactions and permanent scarring.

Jennifer Elmore, Florida Dept. of Health Bay Co. said, "It's an unregulated industry, these vendors are not licensed so these consumers need to be aware of the risks."

In 2009 Bay County commissioners passed an ordinance requiring all black henna tattoo shops display an 18x24 inch sign that warns about possible side effects.

Local tattoo artists say they just prefer to do the real thing.
Rogers says she would never get a henna tattoo.

"Even though I know I’m not allergic to hair dye, I still wouldn't get one. It's just pretty much a waste of time a waste of money. And they never even look good anyway.

If you've had an allergic reaction to a black henna tattoo, contact the Tattooing Program at (850) 245-4250.