WARNING: This article contains images some people may find disturbing.
They are wonderfully pretty and after a few weeks, they disappear without trace: henna tattoos are the fashionable alternative to the lifelong, permanent versions and they are very popular.
The parents of little Madison Gulliver from the Isle of Wight, an island off the south coast of England, didn’t suspect anything amiss, when their seven-year-old daughter wanted one of the beautiful designs while they were on holiday in Egypt. It wouldn’t hurt and would soon fade away — at least, that’s what they thought.
In the hotel’s beauty salon, Madison got what she had wanted — a floral design in black henna that reached from her hand to her elbow.
But back in England, she complained of a painful itching where the tattoo was on her skin. The next day, they were all alarmed to see the design was covered in thick blisters and had begun to hurt terribly.
The doctor couldn’t help Madison and she was transferred to a specialist burns unit.
There, the medics had to cut off every blister, in order to treat the damaged skin underneath.
The cause of the extreme reaction was probably a substance called p-Phenylenediamine (or PPD), which is added to the henna mixture in order to make the color last longer. This substance can cause severe allergic reactions, and even burns in children, and is increasingly used only in hair dyes.
Madison faces the possibility of lifelong scarring from the henna tattoo. Hopefully these horrible pictures of her burns will prevent other people — above all parents — from making a similar mistake.