Breaking Travel News Culture Indonesia Breaking News News Tourism Travel Destination Update Travel Wire News

Where to get a Tattoo without Needles, Pain and an Infection?

Dangerous 'black henna' tattoos leaving Bali tourists with permanent scars

Not all tattoos are carried out with needles and pain. A henna tattoo is one of the exceptions to the standard scenario, and a beautiful one at that. A henna tattoo is made with dye from the henna plant. The tattoo is often made with a specific amount of henna powder mixed with other ingredients, such as water or tea. The paste is placed in a small piping bag and then piped on the skin.

Henna has spread throughout the world, making a lasting impression with its deep color and intriguing designs. There are, however, some types of henna to be wary of.

An investigation by Australian 9News has spurred authorities into educating Bali operators about the dangers of black henna tattoos, which have left countless holidaymakers with permanent scars. The probe found widespread use of the product by vendors in tourist hotspot Kuta.

Unlike real henna, black henna is made from hair dye which contains paraphenylenediamine (PPD), a chemical that as many as one in five people are allergic to when it’s applied to their skin.

Operators seemingly use it because it’s cheaper than true henna and easier to access. Henna tattoos are a popular tourist attraction in Kuta.

Of five samples gathered five operators on Kuta Beach, four tested positive for PPD when screened at the Indonesia National Agency of Food and Drug Control.

Each of the positive tests had a concentration of more than 12 percent and doctors say even less than one percent can be harmful on the skin.

The investigation has now prompted the government agency to hold education sessions with operators with the hope they’ll stop using the potentially harmful product.

An eight-year-old South Australian has been left with a scar after getting a henna tattoo.  After getting what was supposed to be a temporary henna tattoo on his face, the Sydneysider broke out in a blistering infection that put him in hospital for a week.

Social media is filled with similar stories of tourists visiting destinations all over the world and unknowingly getting painted with black henna, instead of the real stuff.

One allergic exposure usually results in lifelong sensitivity to PPD which is also found in products like sunscreen.

There are plenty of genuine operators in Bali though and they say tourists should ask questions before going through with a temporary henna tattoo.

Trip Advisor established a forum to discuss where to find Henna Tattoos.

Traveling to Japan? You may want to think twice about getting a tattoo. eTN had reported about this in 2015

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

About the author

eTN Managing Editor

eTN Managing assignment editor.