In 2018, a 7-year-old girl suffered horrific chemical burns that may have scarred her body for life – all because of a temporary henna tattoo.
Not to be an alarmist, but I think we all know dangerous things are lurking everywhere. It’s a terrifying notion for parents. You can’t protect them from bad things if you didn’t know it was bad!
Some dangers are in plain sight. Others are harder to see. Chemicals are one of the hazards for our children that we sometimes overlook. (In sunscreen, for example.)
Even if you think you and your kids will never get a henna tattoo, I hope you’ll read this because the chemical that burned this child is already in your everyday life
A chemical burn is irritation and destruction of human tissue caused by exposure to a chemical, usually by direct contact with the chemical or its fumes. (source)
Little Madison and her family were vacationing in Egypt when they learned first hand how brutal a burn like this can be. The family was staying in a beautiful 4-star hotel for vacation when Mom suffered a gall bladder infection.
Dad, looking for fun things to do with the kids I’m sure, let them get temporary tattoos. They were the henna tattoos that are so beautiful to look at, and they were supposed to wash off.
Madison’s little brother Sebastien was the first to experience trouble with the henna ink. His skin began itching so they washed it off right away. It wasn’t long before she began having problems as well, but hers was so much worse.
She wound up with blisters from her finger to her elbow and her pain was excruciating. Doctors diagnosed her as having chemical burns from an ingredient in the henna ink.
Paraphenylenediamine was the culprit
This chemical is something you’ve almost certainly been in contact with before, even if you didn’t know it. It can be found in hair dye and is the reason you should always do a patch test if you color at home. In the US, henna is only approved for use in hair dye.
If you’ve ever been to certain areas on vacation, like touristy spots and beaches, for example, these kinds of tattoo artists are everywhere. Unfortunately, you won’t know whether the chemical is in the henna and honestly, I truly doubt the person doing the inking does either.
You’ll also find paraphenylenediamine in the following.
Textile dyes and fur dyes
Dark colored cosmetics
Dark colored temporary henna tattoos
Photographic developer and lithography plates
Photocopying and printing inks
Oils, greases, and gasoline. (source)
The addition of paraphenylenediamine (PPD) into henna dyes and the potential for this allergenic chemical to cause hypersensitivity reactions is a public health issue.1,2 PPD is an oxidative chemical that is used in many home and salon permanent hair coloring products. “Henna tattoo artists” are continuing to add PPD to natural henna in their practices to increase the intensity and longevity of the tattoo and expedite the drying time for the henna. Many persons believe that the “temporary” status of the tattoos makes them safe. This, in fact, is not true. There are hundreds of cases ranging from mild eczema to bullous reactions to scarring and permanent hypopigmentation reported, with increasing numbers being reported in younger children.
This video will show you the full details…
What to do if your child gets a chemical burn.
Flush the area with water for at least 10 minutes or more. Use a shower or hose if it’s a big area. Wrap the area with clean gauze. Call your doctor or go to the emergency room. (source)
Poison Control is available 24 hours a day, (800) 222-1222