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Freja, 3, left scarred for life by her henna tattoo

Painful: The cat-shaped blisters

A GIRL of three was left with chemical burns and permanent scars from a black henna tattoo she got on holiday.

Freja Ellis was on a break in Antalya, Turkey, when mum Marlana treated her to the design at a barber shop.

But after returning home, she complained the cat pattern — stretching from her wrist to her elbow — was itchy.

On the mend: Freja Ellis needed treatment when her arm became infected PICTURES: SWNS

The design later erupted into painful blisters, which then became infected.

Single mum Ms Ellis said: ‘My little girl has been scarred for life after getting what I thought was a harmless black henna tattoo. It’s heartbreaking.’ The nurse, 32, said she was ‘entirely unaware of the dangers’ of the tattoos.

She added: ‘Freja was desperate for a tattoo as she’d seen older kids with them. She’d been so well behaved I decided to treat her.’

Holiday snap: Mum Marlana with three-year-old Freja before the tattoo

She said the shop where Freja got the tattoo ‘seemed clean and tidy and the man who did the design wiped her arm with antiseptic beforehand’.

But three days later, Freja complained about an itching sensation on her arm.

‘I had a look, but there was nothing visible. When she woke up next day, she was in tears. Nasty, red raw blisters full of fluid started to appear on her arm,’ said Ms Ellis, of Herne Bay, Kent.

She took Freja to a local hospital where her injury was diagnosed by a doctor as a chemical burn. ‘I was shocked,’ said Ms Ellis.

Black henna contains a chemical called para-phenylenediamine — used in sun cream and hair dye in very small doses — which is now recognised as a public health issue. It can cause hypersensitive reactions in children.

Ms Ellis said: ’I want to make people aware because so many children have them done on holiday.

‘Freja is scarred for life. She’ll forever have a cat on her arm,’ she added.