24 February 2011

Beware of Henna Tattoo Allergy

Henna Tattoo
It was the summer of 2009 when we went to Boracay (a well known beach in the Philippines). There were a lot of activities for summer and the kids decided to get a henna tattoo. Since we knew that they are temporary, we did let them have one. One decided to have a tattoo with a 3 stars and a sun design. It actually represents the Philippine flag.


The two of them had a tattoo with the same artist. I washed the tattoo 1 hour after it was done as per the instruction given.  After washing it.. it was noticeable that one got reddish and warm to touch. He also complained that it started to feel itchy. I knew that there was something wrong so I immediately went to a pharmacy to ask if there was something I can apply. They gave me a topical cream (with steroids) for the inflammation.


A day after the tattoo
The day after, we were scheduled to go home but we decided to stop by a dermatologist and his pediatrician to have a quick check. The dermatologist said that he has allergies to henna. When we went there, the skin on his forearm didn't have wounds but the skin was red and elevated. The dermatologist said that it was a good thing that I applied the topical cream I bought. The doctor gave him another brand of steroid containing topical cream. She said that we had to closely monitor it because it might get worse and I have to bring my son back to the clinic if that happens.


with Scabs
After 1 week the wounds started showing with fluid discharge. With the look of it, I was crying without him seeing because I was terrified. He met his dermatologist as soon as the wounds started to appear. The dermatologist then prescribed potassium permanganate for wound cleansing and anti allergy syrups.


with fluid like bumps


My son was very brave. In fact he didn't bother even if some of his classmates were teasing him. His dermatologist and pediatrician said that there were actually a lot of instances where they have encountered cases like my son's allergy to henna. I asked them if it will leave a mark. They both said that we could only hope because the skin's reaction varies for every individual.

more rashes around the tattoo


I started researching about allergies, scars and keloids. The more I research the more paranoid I get just seeing the pictures of others and knowing that there were marks left in the tattoo area. I then stopped looking at the pictures and researched on the cure instead. I bought silicon films which I think is the best that he can use after it healed. It was also suggested by the dermatologist but she said that we had to wait before I purchase because she needs to see if there's a need for it.


Scabs falling off

My son had his everyday visit to the Derma, then every other day, then every after 2 days.. The scabs fell off but there were still small pimple like stuffs at the area near the tattoo. I was really afraid that a keloid or scar will form but all I had to do was wait. I kept on praying that his skin will react to it in a not so terrible manner.


the wound starting to heal

After a few weeks.. Thank God, it settled down. I didn't even use the silicon sheets that I purchased. No scar, no keloid. There was only a little discoloration in the area which is noticeable only when he is exposed to too much sun. This is why I make sure that I have sunblock with me most of the time to protect it. It now looks normal. Nobody would even know what he had gone through with his forearm. I am very thankful for the patience of the dermatologist because I kept on calling her when I panic. She reminded me that I should NEVER let him have another henna tattoo. He is also not allowed to get hair dyes. 


The funny thing is he always wants to get too much sun exposure so that the 3 stars and a sun design starts to show (the tattoo gets darker compared to his skin color). He said that he likes the design and it is now permanent with him. It's ok if he doesn't get a tattoo in the future. He now just needs sunlight :P 

After the Henna Allergy

37 comments:

  1. Im sorry it happened to your kid but Tahnk you for the info.

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    1. I hope this blog will help prevent it from happening to other kids

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  2. After readibg this,Absolutely No henna for my kids!

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  3. Is this for real?????

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  4. The wounds look scary.....

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  5. Seriously? It was because of henna?????

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    1. Yes. The doctor said it was some ingredient in the henna that he was allergic to.

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  6. Hi! Thank you for those information. My son had the same reaction from henna tattoo. Would you mind telling who's your dermatologist? We have history of being keloidal. Thanks. :)

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  7. This is scary! I did have a henne before and I'm kind of reliefed to see this as a warning for me since I'm obsessed with hennas nowadays esp since it's summer!

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  8. Very informative. I will share this to my friends and family. Thank u!

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  9. Hi thanks for the info. I need to get treatment for this. How long did it take for the wound to completely heal after he got treatment.

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    1. Hi Mario. It took around 5-6 weeks to heal completely. Goodluck on your treatment.

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  10. Did they ever come back or felt itchy at times???

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  11. Everything is back to normal. The wounds didn't come back nor did he feel they were itchy :)

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  12. Is this henna tattoo allergy photo true? If it is,, thank you for the information

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  13. Thank you for sharing!!!!!

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  14. how long does the scar heals? does it takes years?

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    1. The wound healed and scabs fell off after around a month. Luckily he didn't have scars but had skin discoloration instead (when exposed to the sun).

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  15. Hi..my sister is suffering from this right now. We would appreciate it if you could share the name of the dermatologist. please :(

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  16. Hi. The dermatologist has a clinic in UST but unfortunately I cannot recall her name.

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  17. Hi my boyfriend got this allergy too. Can you please tell me what is the exact name of the cream with steroids? Can I buy this in drugstores? Thanks.

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    1. Hi. Unfortunately I cannot recall the brand. I advise that you consult a dermatologist. I hope it doesn't get as bad as my son's.

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  18. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  19. Hi Ms. Caleen this is Cath of TV5. Currently, we are doing a segment about "danger" which can be brought by Henna Tattoo. We would like po to ask a consent from you to borrow your son's photo on his allergy wounds from henna tattoo. We are gathering po random pictures which will be shown in the segment to warn the public regarding this matter. Thank you so much.

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    1. Hi Cath. You may use the allergy photos. Goodluck on your segment :)

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  20. I also went through the same thing but my were only reddish. I got mine on our university week. I wanted to try on some henna since my first time didn't have any reaction to my skin. I didn't even know there were impurities on some henna. my first time was natural since I got mine in Riyadh and it was brown in color. but I've learned that if the henna is black then there's a chemical mixed into it.. I'm so scared that this reddish spot of my wouldn't go away and I'm also worried since I'm a keloid former. I hope it get well soon. I feel really sad whenever I see my wrist but I've been patient and trying hard not scratch it when it's itchy. When I'm being exposed to the sun it becomes more reddish.. Just to confirm is it due to heat that it will become more reddish?? I was thinking of using a cold compress since I have a army training. I hope this will fade away. I was so happy when I saw your article. thank you so much.!

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    1. oh and if continue to expose my self under the sun will it worsen my henna spot??

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  21. Thank you for this post. I did not know na pwede pala maging ganito ang temporary tattoo!

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  22. First time me see like this

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