Henna tattoo scars 13-year-old boy for life
By Paul Shahen
Eyewitness News Reporter
Ringgold, GA (WRCB) -- It started as a family vacation to Myrtle Beach, and ended with a trip to the hospital. Temporary tattoos aren't meant to do permanently damage your skin. But if the wrong chemicals are used, there's no telling what will happen.
Thirteen-year-old Mason Adams mother Dusty Murphy said, "he's had them previous, when we went to Florida he had henna tattoos but they were always a lot more money."
This particular place in Myrtle Beach was offering temporary tattoos at half the price Mason and Dusty have paid before. That worried Dusty, a nurse of several years.
"I asked the guy many questions, is it real henna? Do you add anything to it? Blah blah blah. He assured me it was just henna, and I didn't have anything to worry about," says Murphy.
Mason got that tattoo on Thursday; by Saturday there was reason to worry. When a rash formed on Mason's arm, Dusty took him back to the shop. The shop said they've never seen this and gave them their money back. They also told her they used black hair henna dye, which is only meant for hair.
Murphy says, "it's not approved by the FDA to be used on skin in the U.S. When used on hair it's supposed to be left in for 30 minutes, I was directed to leave it on him for 4-6 hours."
The results were terrifying, Mason's arm was swollen to almost double its size and the once temporary tattoo resembled a badly infected branding. Not to mention the effects black hair henna could have on his future.
"It has chemicals in it that can absorb into your skin and affect your kidney, your liver, long term effects now that make me upset," says Murphy.
It's been three weeks since the incident, Mason's swelling has gone down. Doctors say there's a 90 percent chance he'll have a scar for life. He'll also have to avoid anything with black ink in it.
"I can't have a black tattoo, take pills with black ink on it, write on my hand with black ink. I'm just glad I have a mom that's a nurse," says Mason.
His mother also said because his reaction was so severe to the chemicals, even the smallest amount in the future can be very dangerous. At this point she doesn't want to take legal action, but does what everyone to know how serious this is.