A mum says she was left looking like Quasimdo after suffering a horrific reaction to eyebrow tint which doctors said could have killed her.
Clare McGuire, 34, decided to get her brows waxed and tinted at a salon, but claims the beauty technician applied the patch test to her hand – meaning the reaction didn’t show before she went for the full treatment.
She also claims the technician only left the sample on for one hour, whereas a patch test should be given 24 hours to see if an adverse reaction could happen, Coventry Live reports.
Just hours after getting her eyebrows done, Clare’s face began to become red and itchy, and when she called 111 for advice they told her to get to hospital.
Doctors gave the mum-of-two an EpiPen shot and steroid tablets, but the next morning she woke up to find her face had ballooned overnight – and her tongue was swollen too.
After rushing back to hospital doctors told her the swelling was so severe she could have choked in her sleep.
The traumatised care worker has now vowed never to get her eyebrows tinted again and has shared photos of her dramatic reaction to warn others to get a proper patch test.
Now more than three weeks on from her treatment, Clare says her eyebrows are still “scabby” and she worries they’ll never grow back properly again.
Clare, from Stretford, Greater Manchester, said: “Red spots started appearing around my eyebrows so I messaged the girl that did them and she said to take some antihistamines so I did.
“But then a couple of hours later I started swelling up and my eyes started closing so I rang 111 and they told me to go to the hospital.
“In hospital they gave me an EpiPen shot and steroid tablets and sent me home but it got worse overnight, so the next morning I went back and they put me on an intravenous drip.
“Urgent care said because my tongue had swollen I could have choked. I got told I could have died, it was really scary.
“Over the next few days it just got worse – my eyebrows went really red and were swelling, scabbing and seeping.
“I thought I looked like Quasimodo and my sons told me I looked like the Elephant Man.
“I wear glasses but my face was too swollen to put them on for three days.”
She booked in and went for a patch test the day before her appointment, however Clare claims the beauty technician applied the test on her hand and only told her to leave it on for an hour.
It was only after carrying out research of her own after the horror reaction that Clare realised that patch tests need to be left for a minimum of 24 hours to allow time for delayed reactions.
Clare said: “I’d never had any waxing or tinting done before, I always just got my eyebrows threaded.
“The day before I went for a patch test and she tested the tint for the eyebrows and the glue for the eyelashes and told me to leave it on for an hour.
“I was out for the rest of the day so I left it on for longer and there was no reaction.
“But I found out after that she should’ve done the patch test behind my ear and it should’ve stayed on for at least 24 hours and she should’ve known that because of her training.”
Doctors prescribed steroid tablets, antihistamines and antibiotics to help reduce the swelling from Claire’s allergic reaction and to fight off infection from her ‘scabby’ eyebrows.
After three weeks she is still healing but thankful that her face isn’t as swollen anymore after her sons Matthew Fryers, 15, and Mark Fryers, 13, joked that it made her look like ‘the Elephant Man’.
She is now warning others to make sure they have a proper patch test to avoid a potentially life-threatening reaction like she had.
Clare said: “It’s been three weeks and I’m still not back to normal – I’ve still got redness and scabs and I’m worried they’re not going to grow back properly.
“Doctors said if I had a reaction like that again it would kill me so I’ll never do it again, I’ll stick to threading.
“People need to know this can happen and make sure they get a patch test behind their ear and leave it on for 24 hours.”