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‘Numpty’ holidaymaker ‘scarred for life’ after horrific reaction to Benidorm black henna tattoo moustache

A Benidorm holidaymaker could be scarred for life after getting an illegal black henna tattoo moustache “for a laugh”.

Plumber Arran Maye had a severe allergic reaction to the £9 ‘temporary’ ink he got on his face as part of a Mexican-themed fancy dress night out, with his mate Adam Lewis, 29.

Doctors in intensive care warned the 28-year-old Leicester plumber that he could need a skin graft after his face immediately started tingling, before swelling up and leaving him with pus dripping from the inking, reports the Mirror .

Arran Maye (L) and Adam Lewis (R) in Benidorm
Arran’s face immediately started to tingle before his face swelled up with pus

He rushed to hospital from the airport after the extreme allergic reaction caused his airways to narrow, and he ended up in intensive care.

Arran is in recovery but had to go back to work with his new facial decoration.

He said: “I’ve managed to see the funny side of it. I mean, what choice do I have?

“I look a right idiot though.

“I’ve had one before years ago and it was fine but I guess that wasn’t on my face.

“It was fine at first but then it got tingly, the next day it was blistering and pussing and by Sunday my face was a balloon.

“The doctors said 100 per cent you’re going to have a scar for six months.

“It will be exactly in the outline of a moustache.

“They did mention a skin graft and that it might be permanent. I was trying not to hear it to be honest.”

He was rushed to hospital after the extreme allergic reaction caused his airways to narrow
Arran ended up in intensive care

Arran and Adam were on a six-day break to fancy dress festival Benidorm Feista on November 14 with 20 mates.

Three days in, after a couple of pints, the pair paid 10 euros each for matching henna curly moustache tattoos which took “about a minute”.

“We’d only had a few pints as it was 2pm so we still had half our senses – or should have anyway,” said Arran.

They claim the ‘artist’ in the shop told them it would wash off naturally in a couple of days – or could be cleaned off instantly with nail varnish remover.

“Stupidly we believed him,” said Arran. “We thought it would be a good laugh for our costume that night.”

Doctors said the scarring might last
Arran had to go back to work with the markings still very visible

Arran said it started to tingle slightly in a matter of minutes but when he woke up the next day his face was swollen and blistered.

He still went out that night – dressed up again as a ‘Mexican’ after he couldn’t remove the tattoo – but the next day his blisters were bursting and pussing.

He added: “It was like my face was trying to push out the henna.

“The puss was pouring out and my face was huge and it was so painful. I was in agony.”

Arran said he got the ‘temporary’ tattoo for a laugh

He tried a number of home remedies – including toothpaste, olive oil and salt – and visited three pharmacies for tablets, creams and soaps.

They dashed to the airport and boarded a plane but Arran’s allergy to PPD – the chemical in illegal black henna – got worse and his airways started to narrow onboard, he claims.

He said he can see the funny side now

“Twenty minutes from landing my airways were closing up. I had to just try and relax.

“When we landed they tried to rush us through but when I got to passport control the guy was being funny about letting us through.

“My picture is really old anyway, but of course with your face it like a balloon with a moustache it doesn’t help.”

Pals drove him from Luton to their local hospital Leicester Royal Infirmary where he was rushed into intensive care, given a breathing mask and stayed for two nights.

Medics reduced the swelling with medicine, and consulted a plastic surgeon who warned the scarring could be permanent.

Arran, who still has a red burn shape in the perfect shape of his tattoo, said he tried wearing a balaclava-type face cover but was “getting funny looks”.

“Work think I’m a numpty,” he said.

“The hospital staff were great. They did laugh – after I stopped turning blue.”

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