7-Year-Old Girl is Suffering Chemical Burns From Temporary Tattoos


Many people opt to get tattoos because they look good on them. Some even want to get temporary tattoos to see how they look with one. Temporary tattoos have no dangerous side effects and you can remove them after a couple of days. However, Madison Gulliver did not end up so lucky.

The Gulliver family went on a vacation in Egypt. While Sylvia, the mother, spent two days in a hospital to treat gallbladder infection, the father wanted to treat his children with black henna tattoos.

Sebastien’s skin started to itch, so he decided to wash off the henna right away. Even though Madison complained about the same problem, her condition got much worse. Blisters started to show up on her forearm, so she had to be taken to the ER.

The father noted on this terrible experience that the artist said that the henna was perfect. If so, where did the blisters come from?

Doctors found out that Maddison’s blisters were caused by chemical burns after checking the pH values. The black dye contains one really dangerous ingredient from which everyone should be cautious. This chemical is paraphenylenediamine.

For it to become a dye, paraphenylenediamine needs oxygen. In the Journal of Research in Medical Sciences, a study was published in 2012 that proved that this chemical causes serious complications which can lead to rhabdomyolysis, angioneurotic edema, renal failure, and respiratory failure.

Dark-colored cosmetics, printing ink, temporary henna tattoos, oil, black rubber, grease, and gasoline all contain paraphenylenediamine.

Paraphenylenediamine can have different health risks for every individual and the most common ones are:

  • Blistering, redness, and swelling
  • Itchy and dry rash
  • Dermatitis
  • Hypopigmentation, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, or scarring
  • Intense blisters and scarring

The director-general of the UK’s Cosmetic, Toiletry, and Perfume Association, Dr. Chris Fowler, claims that paraphenylenediamine is safe to use and legally included in permanent hair dyes. However, the black henna contains a large amount of this chemical which can cause allergic reactions and burns.

Henna in the US is only allowed to be used in hair dyes, and should not be applied directly on the skin.

Avoid severe side effects

If you can, try to stop the urge of getting any kind of tattoo. However, if you want to get a henna tattoo, first make sure that the package of the product for its ingredients. Make sure you do not apply it on you if it contains any of the following ingredients:

  • P-phenylenediamine
  • Para-phenylenediamine
  • 4-aminoaniline
  • 1,4-benzenediamine
  • P-diaminobenzene
  • 1,4-diaminobenzene
  • 1,4-phenylenediamine

If you find any of these ingredients on the henna, go to another artist.

Natural henna products should be made from 100% pure henna leaf powder according to Henna Canada. This product should be stored in a deep freezer.

The henna powder requires to be vacuumed shut in a light-proof package. This powder contains no dyes, metallic salts, and preservatives.

Here’s one additional tip that you should practice in your life. If there’s an ingredient that you cannot pronounce, do not use the product and look for an alternative.

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