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While on holiday in Turkey a 7 year old boy had a henna “tattoo” applied to his back. His skin soon became inflamed and then secondarily infected (fig 1). He was treated with oral antibiotics and antihistamines. Four weeks later the skin has healed, leaving just a pale outline of the tattoo.
Contact dermatitis to henna or one of its additives has been described before,1 and we would urge caution to anyone considering a similar decoration.
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