What was supposed to be a bit of fun turned into a crying game for Arran Maye, a 28-year-old plumber from Leicester. While vacationing with 20 friends in the Spanish city of Benidorm, the Briton invested 9 pounds ($12) in a henna tattoo that left him sporting a handlebar mustache and a chin beard. The idea was to get into the spirit of Benidorm Fiesta, a local fancy dress festival, but things went from bad to worse when Arran experienced an intense allergic reaction to the henna ink, which may leave him with permanent scars.
Adam Lewis, another member of the British partying bunch, got the same tattoos as Arran, but while his tattoos faded within a few days, Arran’s were much more problematic. On top of the excruciating pain he experienced, his face ballooned and started oozing puss. It tuned out that the henna used on Arran was an illegal variety called black henna, which contains the chemical PPD. It caused a severe allergic reaction and ultimately landed him in intensive care, with one of the consequences being potentially permanent scars in the shape of a handlebar mustache and a small beard.