Julie Yacoub, who has dyed her hair before, was rushed to hospital by her mum after a severe allergic reaction caused her face to balloon which meant she was unable to see

    Julie Yacoub suffered a severe allergic reaction after dyeing her hair (Image: MDWfeatures /Julie Yacoub)

    A woman who suffered a severe allergic reaction after dyeing her hair was left with burning, itching sores on her scalp for three weeks.

    Julie Yacoub, from Perth, Western Australia said it felt like a "million bull ants" biting her.

    She was rushed to hospital after her face ballooned so much she couldn't open her eyes.

    The 37-year-old sales manager used to always dye her hair as a teenager and in her early twenties with no problems or signs of reaction.

    When she was 22, Julie had her hair dyed at a salon and experienced a mild reaction afterwards but she assumed that it was because the hairdresser massaged her head too hard and accidentally cut the skin on her scalp with her nails, which would have been aggravated by the dye sinking into her skin.

    Julie hadn't dyed her hair since this, but after noticing a few greys she bought a chocolate brown packet dye on October 30.

    She experienced no itching or irritation during or immediately after the application so assumed everything was OK.

    Julie's face was left swollen
    (Image: MDWfeatures /Julie Yacoub)

    Julie was left with burning, itching sores on her scalp
    (Image: MDWfeatures /Julie Yacoub)

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    But while she was at work the next day she noticed her neck was itching as well as burns on her neck.

    Worried she was having an allergic reaction, Julie took an antihistamine tablet to counteract it but later that evening she felt pressure in her head so booked an appointment to see her GP the next day.

    "I had a definite lump on the side of my head and lots of pressure building up so the doctor prescribed me with steroid tablets and told me I was having a severe reaction," said Julie.

    Burns on Julie's neck appeared the day after she dyed her hair
    (Image: MDWfeatures /Julie Yacoub)

    "As the day and night went on the deformity got worse and the pressure build up was very uncomfortable.

    "Throughout Friday night and early hours [of] Saturday morning the swelling around my eyes was getting really bad and by 5am Saturday morning I was unable to open one of my eyes and the other eyelid had almost closed over also.

    "On Saturday morning when I woke up and couldn't open my eyes my initial reaction was panic. I contacted my mum who took me to hospital."

    The sales manager was rushed to hospital by her mum
    (Image: MDWfeatures /Julie Yacoub)

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    On the way to the hospital, Julie could barely see and could feel her face swelling.

    She said: "The hospital couldn't really do much more as I was not anaphylactic so they said the steroids and antihistamines I was on would eventually bring the swelling and fluid under control.

    "As well as the fluid and swelling, I had sores and burns over my whole scalp and a dermatitis like flaky scalp. The itching and burning on my scalp was unbearable and was like I was being bitten by a million bull ants at once.

    "The itching and burning lasted the longest of all and I would say overall it took three weeks for the sores to heal and the itching and burning to stop. Even now I still get itchy and flaky from the contact the dermatitis has caused on my scalp."

    The swelling around Julie's face gradually went down over the next week while sores on her scalp healed after three weeks.

    Julie has made a full recovery but has vowed never to dye her hair again
    (Image: MDWfeatures /Julie Yacoub)

    Julie has since been told she suffered an allergic reaction to a chemical found in most hair dyes called paraphenylenediamine (PPD).

    Many permanent and some semi-permanent hair dyes contain chemical PPD, which is known as an irritant and allergen. Dyes containing PPD are usually perfectly safe to use.

    She has vowed never to dye her hair again and is sharing her story to stress the importance of dye safety.

    "From what the doctors have told me you can just develop an allergy as you get older and I am prone to other allergies (cats, dogs, grass) etc so as you get older your body just develops other allergies," said Julie.

    "I would never dye my hair again. I am frightened as to what the next reaction could be. In fact the doctors have advised me that the next reaction will be worse.

    "Unless I could get some type of plant based or vegetable based dye without the chemicals then I will never dye my hair again.

    "The advice I would give to someone in my situation is to please do a patch test with any types of dyes or chemicals you use. "

    Sourse: www.mirror.co.uk

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