A seven-year-old girl has been left with horrific burns and permanent scarring after she received a black henna tattoo on holiday.
Madison Gulliver was on a family break in Hurghada, Egypt, when her dad Martin, 50, treated her to the design at the salon within their hotel.
But after she arrived back in the UK, Madison began complaining that the swirling pattern, which stretched from her right elbow to her fingers, was itchy.
The swirls soon transformed into a series of painful blisters that had to be cut off in a specialist burns unit, leaving the youngster with extensive scarring.
It is believed that the burns were caused by a chemical called para-phenylenediamine (PPD), which is added to henna to make temporary henna tattoos darker and last longer.
While traditionally used in small doses, PPD is now recognised as a public health issue and can often cause hypersensitivity reactions in young children.
Martin said: ‘She is potentially scarred for life after getting a black henna tattoo.
‘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.
‘I think it’s partly my fault because I didn’t know about it, but also the fault of the salon because they are using dangerous chemicals on children.
‘We would have thought that the travel agents would have had concerns about this.
‘We want to get the message out to other people about this.’
After five visits to St Mary’s Hospital upon returning home, Madison was eventually referred to a specialist burns unit at Salisbury District Hospital.
Martin said: ‘They decided to treat the skin by removing the blisters, so they could access the burned skin underneath.
‘They thought they would be able to soak the blisters and rub them off, but that wasn’t possible as they were so thick, so they had to cut them off.
‘She wanted to see what they were doing so we couldn’t get her to look away, she was really good and kept saying “you’ve missed one”‘.
Madison has also been forced to wear a pressure bandage for at least six months to minimise the scarring on her arm.
In an email to Madison’s family, the hotel in Hurghada confirmed that they had stopped offering the tattoos.
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Heike Moursy, guest relation manager of Fort Arabesque Resort, Spa & Villas, said: ‘On behalf of the owner from the Beauty Center we apologise again what is happened with your daughter.
‘We don’t want to have such horrible reactions to anybody in the future again. Therefore our General Manager Mr. Max Shoukry has spoken with the owner of the beauty centre to stop the offer of any henna tattoo.
‘We know this does not help your daughter but we wish her to get well soon.’