By Jasmine Kazlauskas
A distressed mum has issued a warning after her son suffered a CHEMICAL BURN and may have permanent scarring to his arm after getting a temporary tattoo in Bali.
Louise Byrne said she was over the moon after she and her husband Jesse, 36, touched down in Bali, Indonesia, last month [MAY 27] with their three kids Ella, seven, Logan, five, and Heidi, one.
The 37-year-old stay at home mum from Perth, Western Australia, said it was her family’s first time visiting the popular holiday destination and so she and her husband were not sure what to expect.
On the third day of their trip, the couple’s son Logan had been approached by a local Balinese beach vendor who offered to give the child a temporary ‘henna’ tattoo for just 50,000 Indonesian rupiah [£2.80/$5AUD].
And after seeing many other tourists get similar tattoos done, Louise said she did not think much of it – but was horrified after her son began suffering an extreme adverse reaction after returning home to Australia one week later.
After the tattoo on little Logan’s forearm began to fade, it erupted into a painful red welt that was ‘itching and burning’ – and still has not healed nearly a month later.
Louise said: “We’ve never been to Bali before, so we decided to go with some friends on a week-long holiday.
“It was really nice, and we were enjoying our time there with the kids.
“A couple of days into the holiday we did some shopping in town and then thought we’d go to the beach to have a look.
“While we were there, Logan was approached by a seller offering temporary tattoos. We’d seen people get them done before so didn’t think much of it.
“He was really happy with it and it was all fine. After we flew home, the tattoo faded and that’s when the horrible reaction came out.
“Logan woke up and said his arm was sore, and it was really itchy hot, burning. I couldn’t believe what had happened.
“It was very hot, red and lumpy. It got worse so we went to the doctor, who gave us a special cream.
Distraught mum Louise took her son to the doctor who said Logan was suffering a chemical burn from the dye and was prescribed cortisone cream to help the dermatitis.
But Louise said she is worried the burn might never heal and that Logan could be left with permanent scarring.
Now the mum is sharing her story to warn other parents about the potential dangers of getting temporary tattoos while on holiday.
Louise said: “We never would have known this could have happened. I thought this was just a harmless and fun tattoo.
“It was very distressing for me. Now I just want to get the word out there and help other parents become aware.
“My son is quite worried about it. He keeps asking when it is going to get better. It gets hot and itchy at night.
“I’ve heard they can go away after a few years but sometimes they’ll scar forever. Only time will tell, but hopefully it will heal up completely.”
The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade advises travellers to avoid temporary black henna tattoos while overseas, stating that they ‘often contain a dye which can cause serious skin reactions’.
Dr Adrian Lim, a fellow at the Australasian College of Dermatologists, said: “You can get an allergic reaction to henna tattoos especially when they use the black dye.
“It is typically the same one that’s used in hair dye. The culprit is the para-phenylenediamine or PPD.
“Some people can get quite a strong allergic reaction to this.
“Typically, when this is painted on the skin, you might not be allergic straight away.
“It can take 7-10 days for a reaction to occur. The reactions can be intense.
“In extreme cases, people can run into problems with scarring.”