Henna Tattoo (Wikipedia Image)

Dermatologist Discusses Removal of Black Dye From Henna Tattoos

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Karan Lal, DO, Marketing Committee Member
for the Society for Pediatric Dermatology,
Dermatologist at UMass Memorial Medical Center.

Dr. Lal discusses the recent study of a procedure to remove black dye from henna tattoos.

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Para‐phenylenediamine, a dye frequently added to henna tattoos to create the black color, is a potent contact allergen. Severe contact dermatitis may arise within days even after the first application. Our objective was to develop a method for rapid and complete removal of para‐phenylenediamine‐containing black henna tattoos from the skin, an important problem many physicians are confronted with, but for which no simple method exists. 

MedicalResearch.com: Where else is PPD found, ie hair dyes? 

Response: PPD, known formally as para-phenylenediamine is a black dye found in black textiles/clothes, rubbers, hair dyes, and in black henna(not organic henna) tattoos. This study was based on successful removal of another type of phenylenediamine with a commonly used solvent called PEG-400. 

MedicalResearch.com: Would you describe the PPD removal procedure?  Does it require medical supervision?

Response: The procedure is simple. Cotton balls soaked in PEG-400 were dabbed on the tattoo areas without rubbing. This was done for a number of cycles separated by 5 min tap water wash cycles. Henna tattoos last up to 3 weeks. PEG-400 is not a toxic chemical but because this has not been widely performed I would still want a healthcare provider to perform the procedure.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Readers should know that black henna tattoos pose a risk for contact dermatitis for children and adults and that patients can be sensitized from other agents that have PPD.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: It is exciting to hear about a non-surgical means of tattoo removal in the event an allergic reaction occurs. I would like to see a larger case series of patients with different skin tones to see if there is any risk of dyspigmentation from treatment.

Citation:
Ferrari, DM, Hoffmann, JC, Schön, MP, Lippert, U. Efficient removal of black henna tattoos. Pediatr Dermatol. 2020; 37: 1063– 1067. https://doi.org/10.1111/pde.14349

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Jan 14, 2021 @ 7:00 pm 

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