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Parents warned after girl suffers horrific burns from Henna Tattoo

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Parents are being warned not to allow their children to have Henna Tattoo’s on holiday after a girl suffered horrific burns.

Madison Gulliver’s entire arm was left badly blistered and scarred after getting the tattoo while on holiday in Hurghada, Egypt, with her family.

Soon after Madison arrived back into the UK she began complaining that her henna design was starting to feel itchy on her skin.

Swirls began developing on her arms and felt painful and developed into blisters. Doctors had to cut them off at a specialist burns unit however she will be scarred for life.

Madison’s parents are now warning other parents to be aware of the chemicals in Henna which are used to make the tattoos darker and increase the lifespan.


Chemical para-phenylenediamine, or PPD, is often found in products such as henna, sun cream and hair dye.

But PPD in henna is now recognised as a public health issue, as the allergenic chemical often causes hypersensitivity reactions in children.

Madison’s dad Martin said his daughter’s skin under her tattoo started to bubble shortly after their return to the UK on July 25.

“We noticed there was a small patch on the top of the tattoo that was raised but we couldn’t see any redness,” he said.

“The next morning the whole tattoo was starting to get itchy, so we washed it off which revealed a rash in the outline of the tattoo.

“It started to blister so we started looking on the internet about black henna tattoos and that’s when we realised all the worrying things.”

Doctors in the UK initially gave Madison steroid cream to treat the area, but when blisters started to form she was rushed to A&E.

It was only after five visits to St Mary’s Hospital in Portsmouth, where different creams and ointments were administered, that Madison referred to a specialist burns unit.


There doctors discovered a high PH level – indicating a chemical burn.

Despite hoping the blisters could be rubbed off, medics were forced to cut them off.

Madison’s family say the hotel in Egypt are no longer offering the henna design, but continue to warn families against potentially risky tattoos.

“She is potentially scarred for life after getting a black henna tattoo,” Mr Gulliver said.

“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.”

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Trevor Sherwood
Trevor Sherwood
Trevor Sherwood is the editor and news reporter covering national and international news crime and policing news. Tweet your news and views to @TrevSherwoodPH

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