Mary Bates' henna tattoo
Media playback is unsupported on your device

Warning over black henna tattoos

A 16-year-old from Hertfordshire has warned other young people to avoid having black henna tattoos after she suffered severe chemical burns from an inking done on holiday.

Mary Bates, from St Albans, did not know the ink used in the tattoo she had done in Turkey contained paraphenylenediamine (PPD) - a substance which is strictly controlled in the European Union.

When she returned to the UK Ms Bates was referred to the specialist burns service at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital by her doctor.

Dr Chris Flower, of the Cosmetic, Toiletry & Perfumery Association, warned people could be scarred for life if they had black henna tattoos.

BBC London's Yvonne Hall spoke to Ms Bates and Dr Flower.

  • 13 Aug 2015