A seven-year-old girl suffered horrific burns from a henna tattoo.
Madison Gulliver’s entire arm was left blistered and scarred days getting the tattoo on holiday in Hurghada, Egypt, with her family.
When they arrived back in the UK, Madison started complaining that the henna design felt itchy on her skin.
After the swirls developed into a series of painful blisters, doctors were forced to cut them off in a specialist burns unit – leaving the youngster with disfiguring scars.
Now Madison’s family are calling for parents to be wary of chemicals in henna – often used to make tattoos darker and increase their lifespan.
Chemical para-phenylenediamine, or PPD, is often found in products such as henna, sun cream and hair dye.
But PPD in henna is now recognised as a public health issue, as the allergenic chemical often causes hypersensitivity reactions in children.
Madison’s dad Martin said his daughter’s skin under her tattoo started to bubble shortly after their return to the UK on July 25.
“We noticed there was a small patch on the top of the tattoo that was raised but we couldn’t see any redness,” he said.
“The next morning the whole tattoo was starting to get itchy, so we washed it off which revealed a rash in the outline of the tattoo.
“It started to blister so we started looking on the internet about black henna tattoos and that’s when we realised all the worrying things.”
Doctors in the UK initially gave Madison steroid cream to treat the area, but when blisters started to form she was rushed to A&E.
It was only after five visits to St Mary’s Hospital in Portsmouth, where different creams and ointments were administered, that Madison referred to a specialist burns unit.
There doctors discovered a high PH level – indicating a chemical burn.
Despite hoping the blisters could be rubbed off, medics were forced to cut them off.
Madison’s family say the hotel in Egypt are no longer offering the henna design, but continue to warn families against potentially risky tattoos.
“She is potentially scarred for life after getting a black henna tattoo,” Mr Gulliver said.
“The tattoo was done in the hotel’s salon and they claim it’s not the henna and that it’s my daughters skin.
“She has blisters from her finger to her elbow and is in so much pain.
“We were entirely unaware of the dangers and I think they should warn of this in the brochures.”