‘So much adulteration even herbal henna is no more herbal’

Common symptoms of skin reactions are intense redness at the area which is exposed to henna,itching,swelling,boils.

Written by TANBIR DHALIWAL | Chandigarh | Published:October 21, 2013 2:58 am

With Karva Chauth around the corner,one will find mehndi artists at every nook and corner of markets,who are flocked by women and young girls to decorate their palms with different designs.

It is believed that the colour of henna reflects the amount of love between a couple,but as per doctors,it reflects the amount of hazardous chemicals in henna.

Every year,just after Karva Chauth,hundreds of women line up at dermatologists’ clinics with red and swollen hands. Doctors say that with the increase in chemical content in henna,the number of women complaining of skin allergies increases every year at the dermatologists’ clinics.

“After a few days of Karva Chauth,the footfall of women complaining about itching,redness and skin reaction increases at the dermatology department of GMCH-32,” says Dr G P Thami,dermatologist,GMCH-32.

Talking about hazards of Arabian henna,Dr Thami says,“Arabian henna is very dangerous. It is full of harmful chemicals and can cause a lot of trouble. However,herbal henna is good,but most of the time black hair dye is mixed in it in order to darken it,which is very harmful.”

The doctor adds that a week after Karva Chauth,10-20 women visit the hospital per day and complain about skin reactions. Every year it happens and it continues for two-three weeks.

“These days,a very harmful chemical is used to darken henna. It can lead to severe problems. In worst cases,there are chances of breathlessness,heart sinking and other problems,” adds Dr Thami.

Common symptoms of skin reactions are intense redness at the area which is exposed to henna,itching,swelling,boils and pigmentation. The pain remains for weeks.

“It is a regular thing now. Every year after Karva Chauth,several women and young girls visit the hospital with red and swollen hands,” says Dr Swami Mehta,a dermatologist.

He says,“These days,a lot of chemicals are mixed into henna. There is so much adulteration that even herbal henna is no more herbal. The herbal henna should come under Drugs and Cosmetics Act. Further,Director Health Services should inspect this so-called herbal henna. Only after checking,these products should be allowed to sell at the market.”

While advising young women to stay away from henna,Dr Mehta says,“I will advice young women to avoid applying henna. In case,they have to apply,then they should make sure that there is no chemical in it.”

“Those who have previous history of reactions should strictly say no to henna. In case of itching,one should immediately wash their hands,” he adds.

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