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Doctors Henna tattoo warning

PUBLISHED: 16:00 16 October 2008 | UPDATED: 09:16 11 May 2010

Mum Jo and son Tyler Ewles with the offending Henna tattoo

Mum Jo and son Tyler Ewles with the offending Henna tattoo

A DOCTOR has warned against henna tattoos saying the black dye used could result in a severe reaction.

Dr John Applegate of Acle Medical Centre, spoke out after nine year old Tyler Ewles, suffered extreme blistering and bleeding after getting a henna tattoo on his lower back while he was on a family holiday in Spain.

A DOCTOR has warned against henna tattoos saying the black dye used could result in a severe reaction.

Dr John Applegate of Acle Medical Centre, spoke out after nine year old Tyler Ewles, suffered extreme blistering and bleeding after getting a henna tattoo on his lower back while he was on a family holiday in Spain. The report was featured in the Mercury last week.

The GP, who treated the Reedham Primary School pupil, revealed the youngster had developed a condition called Allergic Contact Dermatitis caused by a black dye in the tattoo called paraphenyldiamine.

The condition refers to an irritation of the skin caused by contact with an allergy-causing substance and Dr Applegate said it was likely Tyler had become sensitised to the dye so he could experience a far worse reaction if he came into contact with it in the future.

Dr Applegate warned: “What is more of a concern is that because he is now sensitised and that should he come into contact with that dye in the future, he could have a more pronounced reaction than the one he had.”

Normally, henna tattoos are made from a natural brown dye which does not cause a reaction, but some foreign parlours use the black dye instead because it is quicker to apply.

Dr Applegate said there was one case on record where a girl became sensitised to the dye and had an extreme reaction where her face swelled up when she used it in her hair.

He added: “A reaction of this nature could potentially be life threatening as it involves the head and upper airways and could result in hospital treatment being needed.”

Tyler had the artwork created during a visit to a night market at Guardamar, near Alicante.

His allergy means he will have to be careful when using products containing dyes, such as hair colours, ink pens and photographic paper.

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