A seven-year-old girl has been left with horrifying chemical burns and scars after getting a black henna tattoo while on holiday.
Madison Gulliver was in Hurghada, Egypt, when her father Martin allowed her to get the temporary tattoo.
The henna tattoo was on Madison’s arm and after she quickly complained about it being itchy, it erupted into painful, sore blisters.
When she returned to the UK, Madison saw a burns specialist in Salisbury – they were shocked at the high PH level of fluid in her blisters – indicating a chemical burn.
Madison had to have the blisters cut away which resulted in her having scars all up her arm – her henna ran from the tip of her finger to her elbow.
The NHS have previously warned ‘black henna’ tattoos can contain high levels of a toxic chemical dye, which is normally illegal to use on the skin.
Madison’s father Martin Gulliver said:
She’s in so much pain – the hotel claim it’s not the henna and it’s my daughter’s skin.
It’s partly my fault, I didn’t know the danger but also the fault of the salon using dangerous chemicals on children.
Martin and his wife Sylvia allowed their son, nine-year-old Sebastian, to also get a similar inking, but it was scrubbed off when he complained of constant itching.
The hotel in Hurghada where Madison had the henna done, have since apologised and said it no longer offered the tattoos.
Dr Chris Flower, director general of the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Perfumery Association, warns everyone should be suspicious of black ‘tattoos’:
PPD is safely and legally used in permanent hair dyes where clear instructions are given, and where the maximum level is controlled by law, but black henna often contains PPD at high levels, to give a dark colour quickly.
When applied to the skin in the form of a black henna temporary tattoo, PPD can cause chemical burns and lead to allergic reactions.
Lisa Bickerstaffe from the British Skin Foundation advised:
Check the colour if a product is described as ‘henna’.
Henna is an orange-red colour, so if you are offered a temporary tattoo with ‘black henna’, it isn’t actually true henna – if in doubt, stay away.
Unfortunately Madison is just one of many who have suffered as a result of these henna tattoo’s which are extremely popular with holiday makers.
As well as the pain and scarring as a result of the black henna, it can leave people with a high risk of becoming sensitised to PPD – it means if you come into contact with PPD again, even years later, you could have a serious allergic reaction.
Get well soon Madison!