Henna tattoos are usually the sort of fun, cool thing you get while travelling through exotic places. Yeah, they're temporary, but they can stay on your body for up to a month, which is nice if you're after a short-lived spell of edginess or just generally think they look awesome.

But it wasn't a cool experience for one schoolgirl.

Teigan Koorts opted for the weakest strength when she was getting one on her forearm, while holidaying in Faliraki, Greece. Her mum Kirsty says: "I remember taking a photo of her having it done and thinking about how much she was going to love it."

Henna tattoo

Credit: Mercury Press

But what the 13-year-old and her mum didn't know was that there was a difference between henna and black henna. The first is a natural dye from the henna plant, and is mainly used for temporary tattoos; the other is a chemical substance often found in hair dye products.

Two days after getting back from her holiday, Teigan's tattoo began to itch. Kirsty says: "It went all lumpy, it looked like lots of mosquito bites but when she told me it was burning, I knew there was something else going on, and started to research black henna.

"When I saw that black henna is completely different to normal henna I felt so guilty. I had no idea but normally I would never let her do something like that without researching.

"I just thought henna was henna and all natural."

Reaction to black henna

Credit: Mercury Press

Teigan was prescribed antibiotics but the burns only got worse. She was eventually taken to hospital and prescribed strong antihistamines and a steroid cream. Doctors told Teigan and her family that the substance she was painted with can cause allergic reactions and lead to chemical burns.

The teenager has also been told she could have a lifelong sensitivity to the chemical, meaning she might not be able to use hair dye products.

Her scars should clear up within six months, but her mum says there's no way to be sure. Kirsty is putting out a warning that this can happen to anyone, saying: "I just want all families to know that black henna is dangerous and can cause such serious and lifelong problems.

Teigan with Kirsty

Credit: Mercury Press

"You see so many children on holiday, some as young as four, getting henna and not enough people know the difference. With everyone on summer holiday at the moment, I just want to warn everyone to avoid black henna.

"If sharing Teigan's experience can help even one child, that's something."

Featured Image Credit: Mercury Press

Stewart Perrie

Stewart Perrie is a Trending Journalist at LADbible. His first job was as a newsreader and journalist at the award winning Sydney radio station, Macquarie Radio. He was solely responsible for the content broadcast on multiple stations across Australia when the MH17, Germanwings and AirAsia disasters unfolded. Stewart has covered the conflict in Syria for LADbible, interviewing a doctor on the front line, and has contributed to the hugely successful UOKM8 campaign.

Next Up

arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up camera clock comment cursor facebook-messenger facebook Instagram link new-window play share snapchat submit twitter vine whatsapp