This family had just returned from a blissful holiday in Bali, when they noticed something very wrong.
While in the resort area of Nusa Dua, in southern Bali, Lisa Tapp treated her six-year-old son, Benjamin, to a henna tattoo. However, shortly after getting back to Australia earlier this month, Benjamin suffered a reaction that may see him scarred for life.
Now, the Australian traveller is warning others of the dangers, according to News.com.au.
“Just thought I would put out a warning,” Lisa said. “My family and I just got back from another amazing holiday in Bali. But a week after being home my six-year-old son started to break out on his arms and leg where he had henna tattoos done.”
Lisa said the problem lay in the tattoo’s black colouring, which indicates that chemicals were added to it.
“The tattoos were black and not brownish red,” she said. “I have since found out that the black henna has nasty chemicals added to it. They add PPD (paraphenylenediamine) and even kerosene.”
It’s likely that the scars will remain, although there’s hope they will fade over time.
“The hospital and doctors back home have told me that my son will more likely have permanent scarring on his two arms and leg.
“So please everyone enjoy the beautiful Bali and beautiful Balinese people but stay clear of any henna tattoos especially if they are offering in the black colour.”
Problems with dark henna tattoos in Bali are so common that our government has issued a warning, however many tourists remain unaware.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade states in its travel advice for Indonesia: “Avoid temporary black henna tattoos which often contain a dye that can cause serious skin reactions.”
Shannon Ponton – Personal trainer and fitness guru on Biggest Loser – shared his sons frightening experience with henna tatts last year as well. Read his story here.
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