Forrás: Good Housekeeping. Szerző: Sarah Schreiber.
When you’re visiting a country known for henna tattoos, it’s hard to resist getting one yourself. Unfortunately, one woman learned the hard way that these seemingly fun designs can do some serious damage.
If you take one look at Sophie Akis’s hands shortly after she received a black henna tattoo in Morocco, you’ll see what we mean.
After patch testing first from a henna vendor at a Moroccan market, Akis, on vacation, returned to have the henna applied to her hands and arms — but when she heard what the vendor was charging, she went out to have it done on the street. Without patch testing the street vendor’s dye, she went for it and paid just $5. Two hours later, her pretty body ink started to itch. “We went to the airport with some of my family to say goodbye, and then when I returned to the hotel I noticed little lumps had appeared on my skin and it was a little itchy,” Akis told Caters. “I just put it down to the sun.”
Nope, it definitely wasn’t the sun. Turns out it was from black henna (also called “neutral” henna) that contain paraphenylenediamine, a harsh chemical that often appears in hair dye, and Akis was having a terrible reaction. “‘Black henna’ can have a concentration of PPD anywhere from 15% to 80%,” says Sabina Wizemann, Senior Chemist in the Health Beauty and Environmental Sciences Lab at the Good Housekeeping Institute. “Since it is used for body art, it is usually applied to a larger part of skin and left for a long time — 20 to 30 minutes — which can cause a severe allergic reaction.”
The next day the itching got worse and she went to a local pharmacy to buy bandages. It was the following day, however, that’s when things got horrifying. “I woke up on April 26 with an overwhelming burning sensation in my hands and they were so swollen I couldn’t move them. When I took the bandages off I cried instantly,” she explained. “They were starting to blister and it felt like someone had poured hot oil all over my hands.”
Akis and her husband returned to the pharmacy, desperate, and were told to go to a local hospital. Officially out of Moroccan currency, Akis knew that wasn’t an option, so after being washed, swathed in iodine and bandaged at the pharmacy, she began the 24-hour journey home to Turkey.
Upon arrival, she went straight to the hospital. After being evaluated by a skin specialist, she was given a powder to mix into sterilized water and was instructed to wash every five minutes for two days. After 11 days, Akis’s hands are still not back to normal — she’s dependent on a fucidin cream, an antibiotic ointment, to ward off infection and may sustain permanent scars.
With the worst of her reaction behind her, Akis is now urging others to refuse black henna tattoos. “‘I actually didn’t know that to make black henna they use a chemical used in hair dye,” Akis said. “My advice to people is if you have an allergy to hair dye then definitely do not use black henna. Always take a test first. If not, you might get stuck with that design for life.”
Even if you don’t have an allergy to hair dye, it’s best to stay away from black henna — and the American Academy of Dermatology Association (AADA) agrees. In 2008, the AADA endorsed banning “the practice of applying paraphenylenediamine-adulterated henna tattoos” for its highly toxic, severe-reaction inducing properties.
After all, true henna, derived from a flowering plant native to certain parts of Africa, Australia and Asia, is brown — never black.