A mother has issued a stark warning after black henna tattoos that her sons got on holiday left them with severe chemical burns.
Toni Feeney, of Colne, Lancashire, took to Facebook on Friday cautioning other parents of the dangers of the trendy temporary tattoos.
The mother said she allowed her small children to be inked while on holiday 'not thinking for a second it would be dangerous'.
But the boys developed chemical burns, leaving them on antibiotics and antihistamines so they didn't develop an infection from their blistering burns.
In a post that has since been reacted to more than 500 times, Ms Feeney wrote: 'Please share! This is what black henna can do to your skin!
'We let our children have them on holiday not thinking for a second it would be dangerous. The hospital have said that the chemicals/dyes in black henna are too strong.
'They now have chemical burns and are on antibiotics and antihistamines in the hope that they don’t get infection or get poorly. If you are offered it say NO!'
The boys' tattoos were carried out using black henna, in which a substance called para-phenylenediamine is used.
The chemical is usually used in hair dyes, and not in brown or other coloured henna.
The para-phenylenediamine in black henna can cause blistering of the skin, painful burns and can lead to scarring.
It can also cause the sufferer to have a lifelong sensitivity to para-phenylenediamine, increasing the risk of severe allergic reaction when using hair dyes in the future.
Henna is an ideal way of getting a tattoo, without the long-term implications.
And real henna, not black henna, is perfectly harmless, but the two can be confused.
In June, Nathaniel Hainsworth, 13, and Kane Archibald, seven, broke out in blisters days after getting the popular temporary black tattoos from an elderly man in a shop in the resort of Cala Bona.
Nathaniel was left with an angry and inflamed red outline of a leopard on his back while the lizard on Kane's arm suffered the same fate.
The boys were referred to a burns unit at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle, had the tattoos bandaged up and were given anti-histamine syrup.
They were also told they must apply E45 up to six times a day for up to three months.
The NHS has issued guidance to help people tell the two inks apart. Its suggests that simply the colour of the ink is typically a good guide, with black henna, as the name suggests being black in colour, and regular henna being an orange colour, with a red or brown tint to it.
Very dark temporary tattoos should be treated as suspicious and with caution. They also advise anyone considering having a henna or other temporary tattoo to ask for a list of ingredients in the mix. If there is no list, do not allow the product to be used.
It is not guaranteed that black henna will cause a chemical burn.
Signs begin with discomfort in the area, then burning and tingling, eventually leading to painful stinging, swelling, redness and blistering of the skin.
With many cases the sufferer is left with a permanent scarring of the temporary tattoo area.
Apart from the pain and possible scarring in reaction to a black henna tattoo, there is a real risk of becoming sensitised to PPD.
This means that if you come into contact with PPD again in the future, even years later, you can have a very serious allergic reaction.
This happened to British woman Julie McCabe, who died in 2012 after suffering a bad allergic reaction to a hair dye that she had used before.
The inquest into her death heard that five years earlier she had had a black henna tattoo abroad.
Since then, she had used her regular hair dye several times and experienced some reactions, such as itching and rashes. Tragically, the last time she used the hair dye, she had a very serious anaphylactic reaction and died.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
© Associated Newspapers Ltd.