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Fake Henna Tattoos in Some Bali Tourist Spots May Put Lives at Risk

Visitors to Bali have been warned that temporary tattoos offered around the island could have a serious impact on their health – and even prove fatal – after a Chinese tourist suffered a severe allergic reaction.

The 30-year-old, identified only by his surname Wang, was taken ill days after returning from the Indonesian holiday island, the Chongqing Morning Post reported.

Although he had been told that the tattoo would disappear in days, the itch was getting worse every day and the part of his right arm where he had the tattoo, turned red and became badly swollen.

Many shops catering for visitors to the island offer temporary tattoos, but experts warned that while ink from the henna tree is traditionally used, some popular tourist spots were instead using artificial black dyes that included a chemical known as methyl acrylate.

Dermatologists warn that methyl acrylate could cause permanent scarring or even death.

Allergies are often attributed to the use of “black henna” especially in small shops serving tourists in places like Bali, and tourists should avoid any colour other than reddish brown when getting a temporary tattoo as the consequences could be terrible.

Source: South China Morning Post

Photo courtesy of IBtimes India

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