WOODBRIDGE, Va. (WAVY/WTTG) — A Northern Virginia boy suffered an allergic reaction after getting a “black henna” tattoo in Virginia Beach during Memorial Day Weekend.

“The ink started going away and the tattoo wasn’t going away,” said Emily Knauer, Peyton’s mother. “It was getting more and more red. It almost looked infected.”

Emily said doctors were at first confused by Peyton’s reaction.

“It’s black ink, they put it on like a pen – [the doctor] goes that absolutely wasn’t henna.” Emily recalled. “It was more of this PPD and I had never heard of that. The first time I’d actually heard about that was when I started noticing this raised skin. I went right on to Google and it’s everywhere.”

The Food and Drug Administration has received reports of adverse reactions to black henna tattoos. The agency says black henna may contain p-phenylenediamine, also known as PPD, which is only supposed to be used as a hair dye. PPD is known to cause reactions in some people, the FDA says.

“Real henna comes from plant leaf,” she said.

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