Wide Angle

The nightmare following a black henna temporary tattoo

Sophie Akins’ trip to Morocco has turned into a nightmare because of a temporary black henna tattoo. She suffered from severe burns on her hands after getting a black henna tattoo, an experience that shows the risks surrounding this common practice.

Sophie Akins and her mother Wendy./ Ph. Daily Mail. BPM Media
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Enjoying the sun and the beach in Agadir, Sophie Akins a British tourist who came to Morocco on holiday with her husband and family, suffered from severe burns and blistered skin because of a temporary black henna tattoo. The 22-year-old woman was approached by a vendor next to the sea who offered her a black henna tattoo for £ 4 (around MAD 51). After getting tested and waiting for 24 hours, Sophie made sure that her skin wouldn’t react to the black henna chemical components.

«Sophie reacted badly to hair dyes when she was younger so I wanted to be sure. We waited 24 hours and then she had the henna done on the tops of both hands. Within hours she was in a mess. Her hands were swollen and blistered», Wendy the mother of Sophie who was with her in Agadir told the daily mail.

Sophie Akins' hand after getting the black henna tattooSophie Akins' hand after getting the black henna tattoo

Sophie who lives in Turkey was shocked a few hours after getting the henna tattoo done. According to the British online newspaper, she had blisters on the back of her hands, she immediately run to the pharmacy where she got her them bandaged and flied back home. «Doctors there said it was an allergic reaction and gave the distressed patient an iodine solution to bathe her hands in every 10 minutes for two days as well as a cortisone cream», Sophie’s mother told the same source.

The risks of black henna temporary tattoos

Many people are not aware of the dangerous consequences of getting a black henna tattoo. Another dramatic case was encountered in the region of Agadir last summer. Mariam Khalifa mother of three children spoke to Yabiladi on August about the traumatic experience she had with the henna tattoo in Taghazout : «It was my fault because I did not know that black henna had a dangerous component that could harm my kids».

The risks surrounding Black henna lay in the paste’s ingredient namely a chemical called paraphenylenediamine (PPD). The latter when applied to the skin can cause chemical burns and lead to severe allergic reactions. The burns can eventually turn into scars if not treated.

Doctor Fatima Zahra Mernissi, a dermatologist told yabiladi that «Paraphenylenediamine also known as 'Dilio' in Morocco is occasionally used as a component of Henne. The ingredient when exposed to sun light can cause eczema».  

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