Woman Handcuffs Herself To Bed After Bad Reaction To Henna Tattoos
| Last updated
Featured Image Credit: Kennedy News & Media
A woman was forced to 'handcuff' herself before going to bed after a bad reaction to two henna tattoo sleeves covering both her arms.
Alexandra Hallman visited the island Zanzibar when she got 'beautiful' henna tattoos which covered her arms, hands and soldiers.
She loved the body art so much she made the mistake of touching them up herself around four days later.
Only a week after having it done, itchy pimples started to spread across Alexandra's body and she spent hours trying to scrub the tattoos off in the shower.
The itchiness became so intense she had to use towels to handcuff her hands for three weeks to stop herself from unknowingly scratching her skin in her sleep.
The 23-year-old said it felt like she was being 'burned alive' and called the pain 'excruciating'.
She said: "It was a really crazy experience. I was screaming and crying all day long for two and a half to three weeks.
"I couldn't even leave the bed or go outside or do anything. It felt like I was being burned alive.
"It's not like being burned alive for one second, or one day, it's being burned alive for like three weeks constantly, and there's nothing you can do about it.
Alexandra, who based in Santa Barbara, California, is from a Middle Eastern family and said she has had henna done her entire life as a way of embracing the cultural tradition.
Her allergic reaction left her with chemical burns and after the horrendous ordeal, Alexandra has been left with permanent scarring on her arms.
She said that it took hours for the tattooist to complete her hand and forearm, so she asked them if she could buy some henna so she could complete the rest of her arm, shoulder and bicep herself.
"It came out beautifully and in the first whole week it was beautiful.
"I actually even did it again to touch it up around four to five days from originally first getting it.
"Which was absolutely my mistake and my fault but I didn't realise that after seven days I'd have a delayed reaction, even on places that I didn't go over.
"It would have been just normal chemical burns and I made it worse by doing it again because I didn't have any symptoms yet."
When the allergic reaction started, Alexandra tried to treat her discomfort with anti-itch cream, aloe vera and antibiotic ointment.
She eventually had to seek hospital treatment where she had steroid injections and antihistamines.
"The henna started to turn into little bumps that looked like pimples - they were kind of gross pimples with white heads.
"At first I was worried it was a rash as it really itched.
"My roommate had to tie my hands together at night because I started to scratch off my own skin while I was asleep.
"I slept with a towel as handcuffs but that way I wouldn't make my skin bleed throughout the night.
"And then the bumps started to go all over my entire arm so it looked like it was covered in pimples.
"I got really scared because I'd just done a second coat a day before to make it last longer."
Four months after originally having the henna tattoo in February, she still has permanent scars of 'flowers, dots and beautiful designs' on her skin.
She is now raising awareness about the severe reactions that can occur from henna, even up to a week after getting the temporary body art done.
"I would tell people to do their research on where the henna is coming from - what bottle and if it was actually made in that bottle.
"And to check all the ingredients as the only ingredients that really should be the henna root powder actually made from the root and water.
"Don't use anything that's not 100 percent natural or organic.
"Also, people seem to do a patch test, like hair dye, but the scary thing is with black henna you don't get a reaction for about a week.
"So people do it and the next day they're like 'oh it's fine, I'm going to do my whole arm'.
"That's how I felt too. I went four days and did the rest of my arm without knowing because after seven days you finally get symptoms."