Not-so-temporary tattoos

Temporary tattoos have become increasingly popular among festival-goers and kids wanting to freak out their parents, but dermatologists are warning of their possible adverse effects.

Although commonly known as ‘black henna' tattoos, the dyeing agent is not henna but a chemical called paraphenylenediamine (PPD), which is also used in hair dyes and may cause dermatitis.

"Although the tattoos appear to be marketed as ‘henna', many actually contain synthetic colouring agents with a dangerously high percentage of the chemical PPD," says Associate Professor Stephen Shumack, a Sydney dermatologist and former head of