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All she wanted was to give her sister a new stylish hair style. Instead, she ended up in the hospital for four days with excruciating pain and hands twice their original size. 

The 29-year-old Dubai expat, N.M., came to Rashid Hospital after suffering from severe chemical burns after she dyed her sister’s hair without wearing gloves.

N.M. told the hospital staff that she bought the hair dye from her local shop and that she was in a hurry, so did not wear gloves, and applied the dye with her bare hands. 

This caused her hands to redden and swell. She tried to treat her hands herself by moisturising them at home for four days, but after she did not see any improvements, she came to Rashid Hospital in excruciating pain. 

Dr Marwan Al Zarouni, Head of the Plastic Surgery Department at Dubai Health Authority’s (DHA) Rashid Hospital said the patient was suffering from severe pain and had blisters all over her hands.

“Her hands were also really red and swollen, she could not use them to grip due to the agonising pain she was suffering. She was admitted to the hospital where both the plastic surgery and dermatology teams started the treatment process. It was found that she had a severe reaction from the dye and so suffered from chemical burns,” said Dr Al Zarouni. 

He said that the patient was admitted to hospital for four days where she was treated for her inflammation and redness with a combination of creams and pill medication. She was also given pain killers for her discomfort. 

Following the treatment period, the patient was discharged in a healthy condition. 

Dr Al Zarouni called on the public to use discretion when attempting to dye their own hair at home.

“To avoid putting yourself in a similar situation, make sure to purchase known brands of hair dye and before applying it you should do a patch test on a small area of skin. Also, don’t forget to wear gloves,” he added.

Dr Al Zarouni also advised those who suffer from a severe reaction from hair dye or other chemicals, to immediately visit the hospital instead of trying to treat it themselves. 

“If a patient suffers from a chemical burn and it is left untreated, the blisters that form as a result of the burn can develop an infection causing further complications.”

He concluded by advising those having no experience in using hair dyes to seek professional help from saloons.