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Mother shares horrifying photos of children's chemical burns from henna tattoos they got in Morocco

Henna is often used by people who do not want a permanent tattoo but it could put you at risk of life-threatening allergic reactions and lifetime scars
UPDATED MAR 30, 2020
(Source:Getty Images)
(Source:Getty Images)

A mother took to Facebook to warn people about the dangers of getting a henna tattoo after it left severe chemical burns on her children. Toni Feeney, 30, was on holiday with her family in Morocco when her two sons told her that they wanted to get a henna tattoo. While one of her sons got a spider web, the other one got a dragon tattoo. However, both of them had chemical burns from the tattoos as the designs appeared to have melted into their skin.

Toni then decided to warn other parents who planned on allowing their children to get henna tattoos. "This is what black henna can do to your skin! We let our children have them on holiday not thinking for a second it would be dangerous," she captioned the picture with her son's burned skins. 

She further added, "The hospital has said that the chemicals/dyes in black henna are too strong. They now have chemical burns and are on antibiotics and antihistamines in the hope that they don’t get an infection. If you are offered it, say NO!” Speaking to Independent, Toni revealed that both of her sons are recovering well. People were quick to comment with words of support for her sons. 

“Poor boys. That stuff should be banned. It’s full of nasty stuff but unless you know you’re not to blame it’s easy done [sic],” one person wrote, while another added, "OMG your poor boys, hope they heal quickly." However, Toni is not the only one who was unfortunate to have such an experience. 

Jade Morris, 26, shared a similar story back in July where she said that her children suffered from severe burns after getting black henna tattoos in Tunisia. The risk surrounding henna tattoos are well-known. NHS (National Health Service) also issued a warning that the temporary tattoos could put you at risk of “life-threatening allergic reactions” and/or lifetime scars. These tattoos are readily available in many places and may contain high doses of a toxic chemical dye known as paraphenylenediamine (PPD).

NHS clarified that PPD can be lawfully used in small doses in hair dyes within the EU. However, Dr. Chris Flower, director general of the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Perfumery Association, warns people that they must approach such tattoos with caution. "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 color quickly," he said. 

"When applied to the skin in the form of a black henna temporary tattoo, PPD can cause chemical burns and lead to allergic reactions," he continued. Symptoms from such burns can range from tingling and swelling to blistering of the skin. He added that one must get medical help immediately after experiencing such symptoms. He added that one can differentiate between real henna and the one with a chemical. "Real henna is never black, but is orange-brown," he said. "Any very dark temporary tattoo should be treated with caution."