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Natasha Hamilton backs skin care campaign after six-year-old son suffers leg burns from black henna tattoo

The Atomic Kitten is warning parents to be aware of the dangers and is backing the British Skin Foundation's #AvoidBlackHenna campaign

A popstar is backing a skin campaign after her six-year-old son suffered burns on his leg from a temporary tattoo.

Atomic Kitten Natasha Hamilton has issued a warning for all parents to be aware of the dangers of black henna after her son Archie suffered an allergic reaction to the dye.

The youngster had a black henna temporary tattoo (BHTT) while on holiday in Morocco but on his return to the UK was left with horrific scarring on his leg from where the dye had been.

Now, the "Whole Again" singer is leading the British Skin Foundation's #AvoidBlackHenna campaign to raise awareness of BHTTs.

Six-year-old Alfie suffered horrific scarring on his leg

She said: "I am backing the British Skin Foundation's #AvoidBlackHenna campaign as there needs to be a greater awareness of the potential permanent dangers posed by Black Henna tattoos.

"Sharing my photograph of Alfie's scarred leg will hopefully highlight these dangers and will act as a warning to parents who might not know the risks attached to these so-called temporary 'black henna' tattoos.

"Having witnessed first-hand Alfie's terrible reaction to black henna, it’s just not worth the risk of permanent damage and letting your children have one done at home or abroad."

Natasha Hamilton said her son suffered the reaction on her return from a holiday to Morocco

Most BHTTs are not based on henna, which is a plant, but instead on a substance called para-phenylenediamine (PPD).

PPD is allowed for use in hair dye, but its use for skin contact products such as temporary tattoos is illegal in the European Union.

When PPD is used on the skin in this way it can cause blistering, painful skin burns and may even lead to scarring.

It can also leave the person with a lifelong sensitivity to PPD, which increases the risk of a severe allergic reaction when using hair dye in the future.

The British Skin Foundation said research among dermatologists in 2015 revealed that they were seeing an increase in reactions at clinics across the UK.

Research found that 1 in 20 dermatologists said more than 80% of the BHTT reactions they had seen were in children aged under 16, and that around half of patients had it done outside Europe.

Dr Anjali Mahto, consultant dermatologist and British Skin Foundation spokesman, said: "Black henna is well known to cause skin reactions and should be treated with caution, particularly in children.”

The decision to re-issue this warning in 2017 is backed by the Cosmetic, Toiletry & Perfumery Association (CTPA).

Dr Christopher Flower, director-general of the CTPA, said: "The message is clear: having a ‘black henna’ temporary tattoo presents a significant risk of a very nasty adverse reaction to the tattoo itself.

"It also increases the risk of either not being able to use most hair dyes in the future or having a bad reaction to them if the warnings are ignored.

"Most importantly, parents will want to safeguard their children this summer by steering clear of so-called ‘black henna’ temporary tattoos."

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