A six-and-a-half-year-old boy who asked to get a henna tattoo inscribed on his
shoulder ended up very ill at Carmel Medical Center in Haifa.
Har-Shai of Carmel said on Thursday that henna tattoos are very dangerous,
especially on children, and should not be attempted.
The boy, Eden
Ben-Simon, said on Thursday: “I am about to go into first grade and wanted to
enjoy a vacation in Eilat, but this tattoo ruined everything.”
Ben-Simon family live in the North but had their vacation in the South with a
number of other families they know. After going to the hotel pool, they walked
to the central pedestrian mall. Eden, a sports fan, stopped at a tattoo parlor
that offered Maccabi Haifa tattoos.
His mother, Einav, asked the owner if
it was dangerous for a child to be tattooed with henna, but he said there was no
“They all do it,” he said. The tattoo artist rubbed henna into
the boy’s shoulder with a form to create the sports logo. It produced a small
“Already in the evening, when we returned to the hotel, the
skin stared to release pus and burn like fire,” said Avi, Eden’s father. The
next morning, they took their son to Yoseftal Hospital in town.
treated with medications and special cream, and two days later, they returned
home to the north, but the pain and rash on his shoulder and back got
“We understood that it was not normal and rushed to Carmel’s
plastic surgery department to get help,” Avi said.
Har-Shai said that the
henna tattoo caused a second-degree burn.
“We here and nobody else knows
what tattoo artists put on the skin of children. There was a combination of a
serious allergy to henna and a chemical burn. It is definitely dangerous to the
skin and body of such a young child.”
His skin reacted by developing ugly
boils over his body from his back to his chest and abdomen.
warned other parents that tattoos are not child’s play. There is a law barring
children into their midteens from getting any tattoo without parental
permission, but the parents agreed after hearing from the owner of the tattoo
parlor that “everybody does it.”
Einav said that the Health Ministry and
other supervisory bodies must look into the situation. There is no supervision
of dozens of places in Eilat, as well as other localities, that perform henna
tattoos, she said.
“Somebody must wake up until more people are
Har-Shai said that usually, black material containing the chemical
PPD – which speeds up the absorption of color into the epidermis – darkens the
basic henna color. PPD is known to cause allergic reactions that develop into
chronic infections and scars. Public awareness of the risk is minimal, he added.