Contact Dermatitis With Severe Scalp Swelling and Upper Airway Compromise Due to Black Henna Hair Dye Academic Article uri icon


  • Temporary tattooing with black henna is known to cause contact dermatitis; however, this adverse effect is not considered to be life threatening. We report a female adolescent who used black henna as a hair dye and developed severe contact dermatitis with scalp, facial, and neck swelling causing hoarseness and stridor. A flexible bronchoscopy showed a normal epiglottis, and the patient was intubated, ventilated, and eventually recovered. We conclude that the use of black henna hair dye in sensitized patients can be life threatening.

publication date

  • January 1, 2011