allergic reaction highlights possible dangers of hair dye
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Allergic reaction highlights possible dangers of hair dye

Following hospitalization for an allergic reaction to hair dye, a woman from Coventry, England is warning other consumers to take heed. Cathy McCarthy, a 49 year-old grandmother of two, was admitted to Margrave Hospital three days after using a dark brown hair dye. McCarthy dyed her hair Friday (January 27) for a wedding on Saturday, and by Sunday morning looked like a self-described elephant woman. “My eyes were slits, my face felt all tight, my ears were burning, and I couldn’t see properly.”

McCarthy went to the hospital on her daughter’s advice, and found herself whisked from the walk-in center to the emergency ward, where she was admitted for observation. McCarthy has a letter from the hospital stating that her condition was a reaction to the hair dye, a product she has used for 7 years without incident. Still complaining of swollen eyes, tender skin, and difficulty hearing, McCarthy is taking 11 prescription pills every day, and using a cream to sooth the skin on her ears. She had to take a week of sick leave from work to deal with the aftermath of the incident. “I tested it on the crease of my arm just as the box advised, and still this happened.”

Confirming that an investigation into the incident is underway, a spokeswoman from the hair dye manufacturing company expressed concern over McCarthy’s health and offered medical assistance from the corporation. “We will refer Ms. McCarthy to a specialist dermatologist who will carry out patch testing at our expense to help determine the cause of her reaction.” The spokeswoman reminded consumers that millions of women every year use hair colorants safely, and noted that if McCarthy is found to be allergic to a particular ingredient in her hair dye, the company would help steer her toward products not containing that ingredient.

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