A horrified mum has warned of the dangers of temporary henna tattoos after her nine-year-old son was left with a permanent scar – of a SHARK.
Traumatised Owen Rigby suffered horrific burns to his right arm after he was given the jaws design on holiday in Gran Canaria.
Owen begged his parents for permission after they walked past a street artist outside their hotel. He was told the tattoo would last a month but within days, his forearm began to bleed and blister after his body reacted to the powerful dye.
Owen was taken to the doctors and placed on a course of antibiotics after they returned to their home in Telford, Shrops., on April 5.
He now has a five-inch red scar of a shark on his arm, which doctors fear could remain for the rest of his life.
Mum Leanne Clennell, 30, spoke of her ”heartache” at allowing her son to have the tattoo. She said: ”It has been very painful for him. It actually burnt his skin and it has got infected now.
”I have had to take him to the doctors twice, he was in agony. His arm was so hot you could have fried an egg on it.
”It looks awful and I think he will definitely be scarred from it. The doctors have said it could be permanent.
”If I knew then what I know now I would never have allowed him to have it done.
”It was done by someone right outside the hotel but I have been told these people put peroxide in the dye to make it last longer.
”It just looks a mess. I would tell parents not to let their children get one, it’s just not worth it.
”It was meant to last for 30 days but the dye came off in two or three days, it has caused a lot of heartache.
”When you’re on holiday you just don’t expect this kind of thing to happen. He only had it done as a bit of fun but looking at him now he is in a lot of pain. I had to take him out of school and he is on antibiotics to treat it.”
Since returning from holiday, Owen has suffered almost constant pain and has missed two weeks of school as a result.
He said: ”It was itchy at first and then it started burning me. It is very sore and I think it’s going to scar. I feel pretty sad.”
Owen’s horrifed grandmother Audrey Clennell, added: ”I could not believe it, it looks very sore and it just goes to show you can’t trust these people who are selling them.”
Henna, a natural plant extract, fades within 10 days and is usually completely harmless. But many unscrupulous artists mix henna with a cheap hair dye called PPD (paraphenylenediamine), which can burn the skin.