Is it dangerous to get a henna tattoo?

Henna tattoos become popular with the arrival of heat and the summer months. Our children may be convinced to get a temporary tattoo with this substance, but it is convenient to know all the risks.

You don’t have to be on vacation to be tempted by henna. On the internet we find all kinds of body art kits with this substance, so it is possible to practice on yourself from home. Although it may seem like a temporary tattoo is harmless fun (it looks like a natural item after all), there are some potential risks involved. Whether you are an adult, teenager or children, all this interests you.

Henna composition

Henna is a small flowering shrub. The leaves of this plant dry out and turn into a fine powder . This powder is the one that can be used to dye hair or skin temporarily. Henna body art has been used to adorn the bodies of women in a variety of ceremonies for thousands of years, especially Indian ones. Even brides wear it at weddings and religious ceremonies in some parts of the world.

Although most pastes include natural ingredients to enhance natural colors, black henna , a type that is mixed with a harmful substance to darken and last, has gained recognition over the years. These additives can pose significant risks to the skin in the form of chemical burns and allergic reactions.

Those unfamiliar with the practice may wonder if henna tattoos are permanent. Although they are temporary, there are some factors that influence the duration. Once applied, it is said that the longer you leave it to absorb into the skin, the darker it will be. The darker it is, the longer it will last. Also where the henna is placed will influence its duration. Hands and feet, which are used frequently and exposed to soap and water, may begin to fade after one week and disappear completely within two weeks. On the other hand, if it is used on the back or upper arm it can last a week or two more.

tatuaje de henna en mano

Are there risks when getting a tattoo?

In Europe, henna has not yet been approved as a cosmetic, despite the fact that tattoos or dyes are made with this substance. Of course, that does not mean that you cannot use it for what you want or find it available at fairgrounds, pharmacies and other stores.

The Medicines Agency has warned that some people experience severe skin reactions when applying a henna tattoo. The most common problems that have been reported are redness, blisters, raised and oozing lesions, loss of pigmentation, increased sensitivity to sunlight, and even permanent scarring.

It is also important to note that some dyes are sold as henna and display bright colors, such as blue, green, yellow, or purple. But real henna is orange, red, or brown in color. It is not clear how these dyes can affect the skin and the quality of the materials used is likely to vary widely.

In addition, it can be dangerous for people with G6PD deficiency , a condition in which the body does not have enough of the enzyme glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, which helps the function of red blood cells. If a teenager has a G6PD deficiency, they may not know it. Many people do not have any symptoms until their red blood cells are exposed to certain triggers. For some, henna can be a trigger, causing a breakdown of red blood cells, resulting in a variety of medical complications.

How much?

The truth is that there is no fixed price, since it depends on the size and complexity of the tattoo. In the end, the price is related to the amount of time it takes. Henna tattoos are usually much less expensive compared to tattoos based on ink embedded in the skin. These can cost between € 50 and € 1,000, depending on the size and where you go.

On the other hand, a simple tattoo can cost around 20 euros and the most elaborate designs for a bride, can reach up to 250 euros. It should also be borne in mind that it can cost much less at the beach fairs or street vendors. Larger pieces and more intricate designs may be more expensive, but they don’t come close to what a permanent tattoo can cost.

The experience and skill of the artist also play a fundamental role. Skilled artists are quick and proficient in freehand drawing. But, if a specific design is requested, it could cost a little more. However, you must always choose places that are reliable and that meet strict hygiene standards.

tatuaje de henna en una mano

Tips for maintaining a henna tattoo

Although there are a few things you can do to make your tattoo last longer, it typically lasts three to four weeks. After 10-15 days, you can expect the tint to start to fade, but first it should be strong in color and opacity. But you can always take certain habits to improve care:

  • Please do not touch it after application. Once applied, let it set for about 30 minutes to make sure it is dry and resistant to stains.
  • Avoid water. Cover it while you shower, bathe, or wash dishes.
  • Avoid chemicals. Stay away from salt water, harsh chemicals (including hand sanitizer), and bleach.
  • Keep it hydrated . As a self tanner, henna requires hydration to prolong discoloration.

If you want to remove the henna tattoo, exfoliate the skin with a pumice stone or loofah and a body scrub. You can also mix a cup of olive oil with a few tablespoons of sea salt and apply the mixture to your skin to help remove the dye. If you have had it done in a trustworthy site, you can ask a specialist for an opinion on how to properly remove the remains without damaging the skin.