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Teenager left ‘needing a skin graft’ after attempting viral DIY hair removal trend

Teenager left ‘needing a skin graft’ after attempting viral DIY hair removal trend

Her mum has issued an urgent warning following the horrific ordeal

One teenager was left 'needing a skin graft' after attempting a viral DIY hair removal trend.

Mum, Natalie Renken, returned home from the shops a couple months back (18 February) to find her 17-year-old daughter, Allison Boles, cooking over the stove.

Now, as Allison regularly bakes in the kitchen, the 46-year-old mum-of-three wasn't initially worried when she said she had burnt herself after trying out sugar waxing.

Allison Boles ended up 'needing a skin graft' after trying out a viral hair removal trend.
Kennedy News & Media

Sugar waxing is a viral hair removal trend that is supposed to be less painful than waxing as it doesn't stick to the skin, and tutorial videos on the 'hack' took off on platforms like TikTok in recent years.

It was only when Natalie saw the extent of the injury on Allison's right thumb that she rushed her to A&E.

Natalie, from Marshalltown in Iowa, US, said: "I came home and Allison was in the kitchen cooking something.

"She is always crafty and making things in the kitchen, so I didn't think anything of it when I saw her at the stove. She told me she was making sugar wax."

Then, about 'an hour and a half later', Allison said she had burnt herself.

"She showed me it and at first I thought it was a paper towel but it was her skin that had peeled back," Natalie continued. "I took her to the emergency department straight away.

"Her top layer of skin had rolled back and the underlying skin was a bright pink colour."

The 17-year-old was trying out a sugar wax.
Kennedy News & Media

Natalie continued: "Once Allison told the doctor what happened he said he had watched the TikTok videos and explained that by putting the hot wax into the fridge you are essentially flash cooling it.

"When the wax is in the fridge for only an hour or two it doesn't cool evenly which leaves hot pockets in the wax.

"When you then put it in the microwave these pockets are then going to get even hotter but the other bits of the wax will only get warm which causes a combustion reaction which pops the hot pockets."

She added: "The doctor said they had another young woman in the emergency room about a week before with the same injuries."

Allison was rushed to the emergency room.
Kennedy News & Media

"I don't think she was doing it to follow a trend," Natalie explained.

"I think Allison just followed the video to make sugar wax as a craft.

"That evening [at the burns clinic] we were told to clean the wound again and at this point it had blistered badly."

She recalled that Allison's blister was 'bigger than her thumb' and was a'round three inches tall', before it popped overnight.

Natalie went on: "She then had open skin and the doctor diagnosed her with a severe second degree burn."

She was also told she may need a skin graft at the specialist burns clinic.

"The healing process took about four to five weeks and it is healed now but it's tender and she will be left with a permanent scar for life."

Fortunately Allison's thumb healed on its own over five weeks without the need for plastic surgery, however, Natalie fears her daughter will be left 'scarred for life' from the accident.

The doctor diagnosed Allison with a severe second degree burn.
Kennedy News & Media

Users posting TikTok videos on the waxing method claim the product can be made at home from equal parts of water, honey and sugar.

Natalie says Allison first discovered the sugar wax recipe after it popped up on her TikTok 'for you' page, which then sparked her to search for more sugar waxing videos on the platform.

She said: "Allison told me that earlier in the day she had seen a TikTok video about making sugar wax. You can use it to wax your armpits, legs and other areas.

"The original video just came up on her TikTok 'for you' page. She hadn't been searching for it but after seeing the first video she searched for more on TikTok and then did some further research online.

Mum Natalie has since warned other TikTok users about the dangers of making homemade sugar wax.
Kennedy News & Media

"She did her research and they all said the same thing."

However, even though Allison followed the necessary steps, it still went wrong.

"The upsetting part is that when people make these videos, they don't put a disclaimer or warning on them saying this is their 100th time making it [the sugar wax]," she noted.

The worried mum is urging TikTok to put age restrictions on DIY tutorial videos to warn other social media users of the potential risks.

Natalie shared a post on Facebook of Allison's injuries to warn other TikTok users about the dangers of making homemade sugar wax, urging: "I think with every DIY project video [on TikTok] there should be some parental consent or age recommendations on the video just like there are on toys.

"Allison was very upset and she feels that even though she did all her research, she has now heard other people getting burned [by sugar wax] why aren't they telling us, that you can get hurt.

"She feels deceived by all the videos and research she did [into sugar wax] as they all told her the same thing."

TikTok has since said they have a team of 40,000 working on safety on the app.
Kennedy News & Media

According to the social media platform, they have 40,000 safety professionals working on TikTok safety and use a combination of technologies and moderation teams to identify, review and, where appropriate, remove content or accounts that violate their Community Guidelines.

They pointed out that content like the sugar wax trend is not unique to TikTok and is widely available on other platforms.

The company claimed that this type of content is age-restricted for users under-18, as it shows activities that are likely to be imitated and may lead to physical harm.

They said they may also apply warning labels for all users to videos of this nature, which state that participating in this activity could result in harm.

Featured Image Credit: Kennedy News Media

Topics: News, Health, Real Life, TikTok, Social Media, Hair, Advice, US News