Woman suffers horrendous burns after reaction to Boots hair dye

29 October of 2009

A call centre worker was rushed to hospital with agonising burns after using a popular home hair dye kit bought in a branch of Boots.

Zoe Vernon, 22, was put on a drip in the special burns unit after suffering a severe reaction to the product.

Doctors told her she had some of the worst burns they had seen linked to hair dye.

A spokesman for Boots, which produces the hair dye under its Boots Colour brand, said the high street pharmacist is investigating the incident.

But Miss Vernon, who claimed she did complete a patch test in the morning before applying the product that evening, has warned that other people should think twice before using home dyes.

She woke up with a badly swollen face the day after dyeing her hair. Over the next few days her face and neck became increasingly blistered and painful.

Her neck became so badly swollen that when she went to a walk-in centre nurses there were worried she might have problems breathing.

She said:

‘I was so scared because it was really painful. I didn’t want to go out, I didn’t want anyone to see me.

‘I thought if I stayed at home it would get better on its own but it just kept getting worse.

‘My boyfriend came back from working away and was shocked by my appearance and took me to the walk-in centre.

‘By this time my neck was so swollen they called an ambulance to take me to hospital and I went with the blue lights on.’

Miss Vernon is now taking medication to aid her recovery at home. She is due to have specialist skin tests at the Royal Salford Hospital to find out what caused the severe reaction.

She said:

‘I’m feeling a lot better now than I was, but I’m still sleeping a lot and the vision in my right eye is still blurred.

‘People need to be aware of how strong the chemicals in these dyes are. I will not be using a home dye kit again, I’d be too frightened.

‘I have a whole bag of medication to take, including steroids, and I have to go for specialist tests with a dermatologist to find out what caused the severe reaction.’

Miss Vernon had used hair dye several times before but had never used the Boots Colour brand.

A Boots spokesman said:

‘The health and wellbeing of our customers is of paramount importance to us and we are concerned to hear that Miss Vernon has had such an experience.

‘We have spoken to Miss Vernon and are now undertaking an immediate and full investigation with her to help ascertain the cause of this reaction.’

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