Stories about children having allergic reactions to henna tattoos are nothing new.
But now celeb mum-of-4 Natasha Hamilton’s come forward to share a warning to other parents, after her son suffered the same fate a week after returning from holiday.
She tweeted a (horrific) photo of 6-year-old Alfie’s leg, which was visibly red and swollen in the areas where the ‘tattoo’ design had been.
“This is a terrible reaction my son has had after getting a henna tattoo on holiday. It reacted after a week when he went swimming back home,” she wrote alongside it.
Natasha didn’t share a pic of the original tattoo… but we think this snap of the aftermath is a really useful reminder for parents in general.
Especially since many little ones become dead set on getting the temporary body art after passing the stands while abroad.
In Alfie’s case, it seems his reaction was triggered by chlorine in the swimming pool water.
“We were so shocked to see it happen after having it for nearly two weeks,” Natasha told OK magazine. “It reacted with chlorine when swimming and burnt his skin.”
So it’s important to remember that allergic reactions might not be immediate.
Fortunately, after concerned fans tweeted their sympathies, Natasha reassured everyone that her little Alfie is on the mend:
“He’s fine, no pain but we just hope that it doesn’t scar now….little trooper but angry that it happened! Never again!” she added.
We’re glad he’s going to be OK ❤️️
Is any henna safe to use on my child?
The NHS warns against henna tattoo stands which pop up on beaches in popular holiday destinations.
Especially any stand offering black henna tattoos.
This is because real henna isn’t naturally black – it’s an orangey brown colour.
As a result, this fake henna is darkened using a chemical called PPD – which is legally allowed to be used in hair dye in small doses, but can cause burns and allergic reactions on the skin.
“Real henna is never black, but is orange-brown,” Dr Chris Flower, director general of the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Perfumery Association told the NHS.
“Any very dark temporary tattoo should be treated with caution.”
The NHS also notes that real henna is “generally safe” to use.
Though just to be on the safe side, always allow at least 24 hours to do a patch test before getting a real henna tattoo.
(We reckon any decent stand you see on holiday would offer that, anyway!)
Share your stories
Have you or little one suffered a nasty reaction to henna tattoos while on holiday?
Images: Twitter/Natasha Hamilton