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Families In Bali Warned About Dangers Of Black Henna Tattoos As Another Child Is Left Scarred

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Just weeks after a Melbourne mum went viral sharing her Bali black henna tattoo horror story, another Australian mother has warned fellow parents about the dangers of the temporary tattoos. Jessie Kingscote took to the Bali Bogans Facebook group to share her regret at letting her little boy get a black henna tattoo while on holiday in Bali and to warn others of the dangers.

Kingscote was on holiday with her partner Harry and their two children, Ella, 7, and Riley, 4. The Perth-based family has given strong warnings to travelers after Riley reacted severely to the PPD in the black henna dye. Just hours after the tattoo was applied, Riley developed a serious rash covering his body, leading to an infection. Ella also got a tattoo but did not experience any adverse effects.

Credit: Jessie Kingscote/Facebook

Kingscote shared a photo of the rash on Riley’s upper arm. She describes how the photo was taken 15-days after the initial application and that the rash was only getting worse. In an update in the comments, the mother-of-two shared how Riley is currently on a course of antibiotics and a three-day course of steroids. He will also attend an appointment with a specialist in the coming days.

In the initial post on the Bali Boagns group, Kingscote wrote. ‘I’m an idiot, I know! Before yal start coming at me lol. But I actually saw a warning about this like 6 years ago and even as I was watching my son get it done ( ‘henna’ )it totally slipped my mind. So just a refresh for anyone who may already know or not. Don’t risk it!’. 

Credit: Jessie Kingscote/Facebook

The post received well over 200 comments from concerned parents and travelers offering their sympathy to young Riley and his family. Dom Superville replied to the post sharing his all too similar experience ‘This happened to me years ago when I tried henna for the first time. Never again will I do that, as it did scar me for years. Hopefully, they have some better medicine now to help with the healing process than 20 years ago.

Dozens of other people chimed in with their black henna horror stories. The overriding sentiment is that it is just not worth the risk. Foster Noonan wrote, ‘So I’ve been to Bali about a million times…But when I was 10 and on my first trip with my family – I got a Mickey Mouse henna tattoo….I had an allergic reaction to it, and it removed the pigment of my skin completely, making it effectively a white tattoo. That lasted about 10 years, so until I was 20, I had a white Mickey Mouse tattoo on my arm…Do not recommend’.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Kingscote told reporters of her son’s distress at the rash and accompanying symptoms. She said, ‘The poor little dude was pretty uncomfortable and had trouble sleeping from the whole body rash that’s come up from the infection, which just kept getting worse. To top it off, when the family returned home, Riley contracted Covid-19, which would have put pressure on his already hard-working immune system. 

Kingscote said, ‘First there was redness, but then it started to blister and ramp up…Some days it started to look like it was getting better, then it began to get worse…as soon as the reaction appeared, a similar warning I had seen about nine years ago came flooding back. It totally slipped my mind.

In mid-August, Elena Kovalenko and her husband Phillip Saenko told the world about their sons’ section to a black henna tattoo. Luke, 8, and Adrian, 6, suffered chemical burns from their temporary tattoos at a night market in Nusa Dua. 

Credit: Kovalenko/Facebook

Black henna is different from natural henna. Natural henna is a brown-orange pigment and does not cause chemical burns or allergic reactions. Black henna contains paraphenylenediamine (PPD) and other unknown chemicals that can cause severe irritation and allergic reactions.

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Wayan Bo

Monday 5th of September 2022

Only stupidโ€™s would do it.


Sunday 4th of September 2022

What they use isn't really black henna,there is no such thing as black henna, it is black hair dye. I have a dolphin scar on my leg that is 20 yrs old. Now.... I'm also allergic to any hair dye, I can't color my hair or tint my eyebrows or eye lashes. I'm sorry to hear about your son, I know the pain. I used a topical antibiotic called bactroban that finally cleared up the infection.


Saturday 3rd of September 2022

That's why she's on Bali Bogans, should be renamed Bali Grogans... (Sh*t) ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚