Tattoo Blog

Art that adorns the flesh…

Henna Horror

September 17th, 2009 by

In my humble opinion, the worst thing that could happen to someone who was actively seeking and hoping for a temporary tattoo would be to have the temporary tattoo end up being permanent.  See, this goes against the very fiber of the notion of “temporary”.  And yes, just incase you happen to be keeping track, this is indeed my second post in as many weeks on temporary tattoos.  I apologize.

It’s just that I was perusing the news and I came upon this article about this 16-year-old kid, one Christopher Smith, from Glasgow, Scotland, who was on holiday in Greece with his family.  Christopher was interested in getting some Henna work done, which is an all together different sort of temporary tattoo, but a temporary tattoo none the less.  After locating a henna tattoo parlor, Christopher made an appointment and had three black stars hennaed on to his back.  He loved it.  But by morning, the stars were leaking yellowish fluid and the skin around the star designs was badly inflamed.

“I’d always wanted a real tattoo but decided to get a little henna one to see what it looked like. It felt itchy just after getting it but I assumed that’s what it would be like. But I woke up the next day and my bed was full of yellow puss and scabs. It was horrible.”

To make a long story short, Christopher had an allergic reaction to the henna dye – a particularly nasty and painful one.  But that’s not the worst of it.  The worst of it is that the skin on Christopher’s back is now scarred with the three stars that were intended to be temporary.  Terrible indeed, considering that the artwork is hardly on a professional level and that the stars look something along the lines of a basement scratcher style tattoo.  In fact, a basement scratcher style tattoo wouldn’t even be as bad as what Christopher is now left with, because even the worst tattoo can be removed.  According to Christopher’s mother, the stars on Christopher’s back won’t be coming off:

“We have to take Christopher back [to the doctor] in a month but the doctor has said he will be scarred for life. He even mentioned the possibility of needing plastic surgery.”

Christopher is reluctant to agree to plastic surgery, which would involve skin grafting.  Ironically enough, perhaps the best option to get rid of the stars would be to get a real tattoo done as a cover up?  A permanent tattoo to cover a temporary tattoo.  Bizarre.

It seems that the biggest lesson in all of this is to know your allergies.  If you aren’t certain about what will or won’t potentially have an adverse effect on your skin, maybe just take a pass until you know for certain.  Unless of course, you don’t mind taking the risk of ending up like Christopher Smith.

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