Bali henna tattoo: Aussie dad shocked after son, 13, suffers allergic reaction to ink

Dad warns every Aussie going to Bali after his son, 13, suffered a painful scar from a henna tattoo

  • Australian father Ben Gebbett took his two sons to Bali for a father-and-son adventure
  • The father of two allowed his 13-year-old boy to get a temporary tattoo in Bali
  • The boy had an allergic reaction to the black henna ink that caused his arm to limp blister
  • Mr. Gebbett said he was unaware of the dangers of the ink and felt quite ‘s****y’

An Australian father warns travelers about the dangers of black henna after his 13-year-old boy was ‘scarred for life’ after getting a temporary tattoo in Bali.

Ben Gebbett went to Bali in early December for an eight day father and son adventure holiday with his two boys Jaxon and Levi.

During the trip, Mr. Gebbett agreed to let his 13-year-old son get a temporary henna tattoo.

The tattoo seemed fine until the trio returned to Australia.

Fourteen days after their return, the tattoo on Mr. Gebbett’s son began to flare and blister.

The concerned father shared a photo of his son’s scarred arm on Australia’s Bali Info for Traveling Facebook page on Monday, along with a warning urging tourists to avoid the ink.

Ben Gebbett, father of two, warned travelers about the dangers of black henna after his 13-year-old son’s arm was possibly scarred after an allergic reaction to a temporary tattoo he got in Bali (pitured)

“I just wanted to spread the warning to get black henna tattoos in Bali,” Mr Gebbett wrote.

‘My 13 year old son got a tattoo… the attached photo is the result two weeks later. His skin is now scarred for life.’

Mr. Gebbett explained to the group that he was not aware of the dangers of black henna ink and that he thought it was similar to having a child painted.

‘I didn’t see any problems at the time, as my children have had henna before in Australia at cultural events. I didn’t know their henna was different,” he wrote.

‘The way I looked at it, it was like having a child’s face painted, it had to last a week and then disappear… that’s how normal henna works.

“But now I know that black henna is different and causes blistering and possibly permanent damage.”

The father said he was shocked by the allergic reaction his son was having and felt “pretty s***y” for trying to do the right thing and potentially scarring his son for life.

Some Facebook users felt sorry for Mr. Gebbett, saying the ink had been causing problems for a long time.

“There have been warnings about this for so long and many years,” one user wrote.

Mr. Gebbett Went To Bali With His Sons For An Eight-Day Adventure Holiday. He Explained That He Was Unaware Of The Dangers Of Black Henna And Said He Felt Quite 'S***Y' For Possibly Scarring His Son (Pictured Mr. Gebbett In Bali With His Sons)

Mr. Gebbett went to Bali with his sons for an eight-day adventure holiday. He explained that he was unaware of the dangers of black henna and said he felt quite ‘s***y’ for possibly scarring his son (pictured, Mr. Gebbett in Bali with his sons)

Other users sympathized with the father, and many shared their horror stories after a family member had an allergic reaction to black henna.

“This happened to my son over 10 years ago. It [scarring] faded,” one user commented.

“My daughter got two in Bali a few months ago…the same thing happened to her but it’s now cleaned up and completely gone,” another user wrote.

A third agreed: “The same reaction happened to my husband in Bali 25 years ago.”

“Yes, this happened to a friend who had a whole sleeve done… the burn was unbearable and the hospital said black henna causes chemical burns,” added a fourth user.

The Australian Department Of Foreign Affairs And Trade Advises Travelers In Indonesia To Avoid Temporary Black Henna Tattoos As They Can Cause 'Serious Skin Reactions' (Stock Image, Temple Street In Nusa Dua, Bali)

The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade advises travelers in Indonesia to avoid temporary black henna tattoos as they can cause ‘serious skin reactions’ (STOCK IMAGE, Temple Street in Nusa Dua, Bali)

Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is advising travelers to Bali to check the “hygiene and safety” of tattoo providers and avoid temporary black henna tattoos, which “often contain a dye that can cause serious skin reactions.”

Henna – a paste made from ground dried henna leaves – has been used by various cultures for centuries and is usually brown or orange-brown in color.

Traditional henna is considered safe to use in temporary tattoos and causes few allergic reactions.

However, travelers are cautioned to avoid “black henna,” as it usually contains para-phenylenediamine, or PPD, a black ink found in hair dye.

PPD can cause serious side effects, including redness, itching, burning, swelling, blisters, and scarring, which appear seven to 10 days after the ink is applied to the skin.

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