A teenager suffered swelling and chemical burns to her face after an allergic reaction to hair dye.
The 19-year-old – who uses the name Ser Gaya on TikTok – had a reaction to a common ingredient in dark hair dyes called paraphenylenediamine (PPD) that made half her head balloon.
She said: “My face and eyes were getting even bigger by the minute.”
Ser Gaya said she had been experimenting with hair dyes since the age of 13 and was familiar with skin irritations like tingling so finished colouring half of her hair that evening.
The following morning she was awoken by her boyfriend concerned by the severity of the swelling. Medics at an urgent care facility advised her to take Benadryl and to press ice packs on the irritated area.
Benadryl had little impact and her mother rushed her to A&E where she was a cream treatment and sent home again, she told Buzzfeed.
The reaction continued to worsen and she was eventually given steroid pills when her face went numb and chemical burns appeared. It is unclear which creams and steroids she was advised to use.
It took five days and three trips to medical facilities for her symptoms to completely go away.
Now Ser Gaya has issued a warning via TikTok to encourage others to carry out a patch test before dying large sections of hair.
Some people are more at risk to allergic reactions to PPD such as those who have had a black henna tattoo as this contains high levels of the chemical which can increase the risk of a reaction.
If you’ve already been exposed to the chemical it can give you a life-threatening reaction due to the build-up on your skin.
However, the NHS advises that re-washing hair and scalp without the use of products should be enough to clear the skin.