A tourist has been left red-faced and potentially scarred for life – by a henna tattoo mustache.
Arran Maye, 28, had an allergic reaction to the “temporary” tattoo he got on his face in Benidorm — and doctors in intensive care have warned he might need a skin graft.
The plumber and his mate Adam Lewis, 29, both got the $12 inkings as part of their “Mexican” themed night out.
And while Lewis’s faded in a few days, Maye’s face immediately started to tingle before his face swelled up and he was left with puss dripping from the inking.
He rushed to hospital from the airport after the extreme allergic reaction caused his airways to narrow and he ended up in intensive care.
Maye is currently in recovery but had to go back to work with his new facial decoration.
He said: “I’ve managed to see the funny side of it. I mean, what choice do I have? I look a right idiot though.”
“I’ve had one before years ago and it was fine but I guess that wasn’t on my face.”
“It was fine at first but then it got tingly, the next day it was blistering and pussing and by Sunday my face was a balloon.”
“The doctors said 100 percent you’re going to have a scar for six months. It will be exactly in the outline of a mustache.”
“They did mention a skin graft and that it might be permanent. I was trying not to hear it, to be honest.”
Maye and Lewis were on a six-day break at the festival Benidorm Feista on November 14 with 20 mates.
Three days in and after a couple of pints, the pair paid 10 euros ($11) each for matching henna curly mustache tattoos which took “about a minute.”
“We’d only had a few pints as it was 2 pm so we still had half our senses — or should have anyway,” said Maye.
They claim the “artist” in the shop told them it would wash off naturally in a couple of days — or could be cleaned off instantly with nail varnish remover.
“Stupidly we believed him,” said Maye. “We thought it would be a good laugh for our costume that night.”
Maye said it started to tingle slightly in a matter of minutes but when he woke up the next day, his face was swollen and blistered.
He still went out that night — dressed up again as a “Mexican” after he couldn’t remove the tattoo — but the next day his blisters were bursting and pussing.
He added: “It was like my face was trying to push out the henna.”
“The puss was pouring out and my face was huge and it was so painful. I was in agony.”