These Temporary Tattoos May Help Identify a Food Allergy Smart News


courtesy of PRTimes

Traveling to another country offers the possibility of discovering new things and tasting the local cuisine is often a highlight. Yet there is always a slim chance that new foods will come with new problems. Tourists visiting Japan will likely come across the popular soba noodles, which are made from buckwheat. But this delicacy is a common food allergen, and locals in the United States or the United Kingdom, who are relatively buckwheat-free, might not be aware of the danger before sipping.

Have no fear: in collaboration with dermatologist Mami Nomura, aThe agency J. Walter Thompson Japan has come up with a visually striking campaign to raise awareness of buckwheat allergies in the form of a temporary tattoo.

To the Japanese, buckwheat allergies are just as well known as peanut allergies are in the United States, according to the advertising agency’s website. While allergy is not as common as peanut allergies, it can cause a life-threatening reaction called anaphylactic shock, reports Preston Phro for Rocket News 24.

The advertising agency was hired by a group of soba noodle restaurants in Hokkaido, the northernmost island in the Japanese archipelago and a popular destination for winter sports enthusiasts. After consulting with a dermatologist, the agency released a temporary tattoo that, when properly applied, will turn red if the wearer is allergic to buckwheat, writes Johnny Strategy for his blog. Spoon & Tamago, which explores Japanese art, design and culture.


Part of the tattoo will appear red if the wearer is allergic to buckwheat.

courtesy of PRTimes

Red is a minor skin irritation caused by buckwheat. This test is similar to those allergists might use in an actual diagnosis called a skin test.

For these tattoos, the user first pricks their skin and then applies the tattoo using a soba noodle broth. Tattoos come in eight different skin tones, with small, light sections that reveal the skin underneath. If you are not allergic, the tattoo will only look like dark patterns on your skin. If you have a reaction, red, itchy skin will show up through the light sections.

The tattoo is not a substitute for expertise, but it is used to make people aware of the existence of allergies to buckwheat. A visit to an allergist can determine if the reaction is a true allergy.

The tattoo series all have bold designs in the ukiyo-e style, which flourished as woodcuts from the 17th to the 19th century in Japan.

So far, tattoos are only available at special events in Hokkaido, Justina Bakutyte reports for Kobini. But the trip might be worth it for those who enjoy body art, skiing, and might consider trying some delicious noodles.


The designs available in the form of temporary anti-allergy buckwheat tattoos.

courtesy of PRTimes


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