For a while now, henna has been a fun body art form. Henna tattoos are basically the perfect temporary alternative to getting the real thing. Mary Bates, 16, never would have thought something so simple as henna could drastically change her life.
While on vacation in Turkey, the British teen decided it would be cool to get a henna tattoo in celebration of her recent crowning of prom queen. Unfortunately, what happened next to Mary is probably the last thing anyone would want happen to him or her.
A couple hours after she went to get her henna touched up, it began to seep and swell.
You can check out some of the pictures down below. Warning: it’s a bit graphic.
Bits of my skin were coming off. It was just disgusting as it looked like open flesh. I wanted to show off my tan but I couldn’t wear dresses as I had this big burn I wanted to cover up. I felt a bit unglamorous.
Doctors determined that Mary’s burn was caused by p-paraphenylenediamine, a chemical found in the black henna that was used for her tattoo. It’s something that is not normally used for henna tattoos; traditionally red-brown dye from flowering plant while black henna dye is from synthetic coal tar. It’s something that has not been approved by the FDA so stay away from the black henna, people!
Unfortunately, Mary now has to take some serious precautions in her daily life. Due to her contact with this dangerous chemical, she’s unable to go out in the sun for at least 2 years. She also can’t dye her hair because it could her to go into an anaphylactic shock.
On the brighter side of things, Mary has decided to become a theatrical makeup artist so that she can learn how to cover up scars, including her own. Her mother has been called travel agencies and wants to inform people more on the dangers of black henna tattoos in order to prevent other people from falling victim to an ordeal like this.