Woman Has Horrific Allergic Reaction To Hair Dye Despite Having Patch Test
Robyn Cherry, 29, is now unable to expose her skin to sunlight following the severe reaction to the dye job, which she suffered despite having undergone a patch test.
The administrator, who lives in Cheltenham, recalled how her face doubled in size following the ordeal in 2010, explaining she's also had to give up her horse riding company since the incident.
"Going to the hairdressers that day was the worst experience of my life," she explained.
"I've been in and out of A&E since and it has been absolute hell. Not only did I nearly die, I'm now unable to enjoy a sunny day or I'll end up in hospital."
Doctors revealed Robyn had suffered a severe reaction to paraphenylenediamine (PPD), a common ingredient in hair dye.
The release of PPD left Robyn's body in a state of shock, meaning she know has allergic reactions to everyday items - as well as sunlight - which causes her skin to break out in blisters.
The 29-year-old explained how she had undergone a patch test 24 hours before her £120 hair appointment, where she had decided to have her bleached blonde hair dyed brown.
The patch test revealed no reaction and Robyn attended the appointment the next day, explaining she was left with "gorgeous brown" hair.
But within minutes of leaving the salon, her scalp started burning and the following day, Robyn's face had doubled in size.
"My head was burning so much I felt like it was going to pop," she explained.
"My mum took me to the GP but the receptionist told us to go to hospital immediately."
By the time they had arrived, Robyn was unable to breath and was rushed to the resuscitation unit.
"I was completely blind, it was horrible," she continued.
"[...] Doctors gave me adrenaline shots and steroids. They said it was the worst reaction they'd ever seen and, if I'd left it another hour, I would have died. I was terrified and kept begging them to help me."
Doctors revealed Robyn's patch test should have been left for 48 hours, instead of 24.
After 20 hours in hospital, Robyn was discharged - but in a further horrific ordeal, she stopped breathing within six hours of being home.
"After that, I was in and out of A&E every four days suffering from allergic reactions," she said.
"I realised the reason I'd never had reactions to hair dye before was because there was no PPD in bleach. I became allergic to most foods, spices, nuts, alcohol and clothing.
"I couldn't eat at restaurants, wear nice clothes or go out for drinks with my friends any more. My life became a living hell."
In 2011, Robyn's condition worsened and she was diagnosed with polymorphic light eruption and solar urticaria, meaning she was sensitive to sunlight.
"I was forced to stay indoors whenever it was sunny outside and had to give up my horse riding company. For the next three years, I became a recluse and never left the house. I fell into a deep depression and suffered from anxiety attacks," she revealed.
Nine years on, Robyn is still unable to leave the house on sunny days and will be on antihistamines and steroids for the rest of her life.
"I want to warn others about the dangers of dying their hair," she continued.
"Please always do a patch test and if you go to the hairdresser, make sure they wait 48 hours."
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