The woman’s hand while undergoing treatment. A Rashid Hospital doctor has cautioned people to buy only known brands of hair dye and to do a patch test to check for any adverse reaction. Image Credit: Courtesy: Rashid Hospital

Dubai: A 29-year-old expat was admitted to Rashid Hospital after suffering severe chemical burns while dying her sister’s hair without wearing gloves.

Wanting to give her sister a new hairdo, N.M. bought the hair dye from a store at her apartment building, and applied the dye on her sister’s hair with her bare hands. Her hands reddened and she suffered excruciating pain.

Soon blisters appeared all over her hands, swelling twice their original size.

She tried treating herself with moisturisers for four days at home but when the pain became unbearable she decided to seek medical help.

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.

“She could not use her hands to grip due to the agonising pain she was suffering from. 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.

Treatment

Treated with a combination of cream and pill medication, N.M. was also given pain killers to reduce the pain. Following the treatment period, the patient was discharged after four days in good health.

Dr Al Zarouni called on the public to be cautious 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 was left untreated, the blisters that form as a result of the burn can develop an infection causing further complications,” he said.

He further advised those who have no experience in using hair dyes to seek professional help from salons.

Precautions: How to avoid chemical burns from hair dye

■ Wear gloves when applying the dye
■ Only purchase known brands of hair dye
■ Conduct a patch test by applying dye in a small area of skin, for example behind the ear
■ Read and follow the instructions at the back of the hair dye packet