FDA warns of dangers with temporary tattoos - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

FDA warns of dangers with temporary tattoos

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BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

Temporary tattoos may be more than cool or cute. In a special "On Your Side" report, Ronda Robinson explains why the FDA says temporary tattoos can cause permanent damage.

"My first tattoo came when i was 19." You could say body art has become a form of expression for Jennifer Poole. She didn't stop there. She got a teddy bear tattoo, two lady bugs, a butterfly and a cross wrapped with a pink ribbon.

"We thought I had breast cancer. We spent a week not knowing so it changed my perspective. It gave me a new found respect for women who do suffer from breast cancer." She said.

On her leg, Poole displays a wolf howling at the moon that was supposed to be a temporary tattoo.

"I don't like the temporary tattoos at all. After they are on can't get them off. it irritates skin, left welts."

Jennifer is not alone. the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has received reports of "redness, blisters, scars, lesions, and increased sensitivity to sunlight" all from temporary tattoos.

The concern is over "black henna" ink that contains para-phenylenediamine (ppd), a product used in hair dye.

This warning does not include traditional, reddish-brown henna or the temporary tattoos that are popular with kids -the ones that look like stickers and are applied with water.

So how do you tell the difference between the the two?

PPD ink may be black, smell like ammonia and stain you skin quickly while traditional henna which comes from a plant may smell like an essential oil and need to sit overnight for a long lasting design.

Jennifer learned the hard way that a temporary tattoo can cause permanent pain. "If I'm going to get a tattoo, might as well do the real thing."

People who have had bad reactions to temporary tattoos should notify the FDA by calling 1-800-FDA-1088 or fda.gov.

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