- Jo Thomson, 39, dyed her hair using a Schwarzkopf XXL Live home dye kit
- Despite carrying out the recommended patch test, suffered terrible reaction
- Allergy left her face swollen, covered in boils and and battling to keep sight
- Is now agoraphobic and terrified she will suffer another reaction
- Mother-of-three said: ‘Dying my hair was the worse mistake of my life’
- WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT
A mother’s face swelled to twice its normal size when she had an extreme allergic reaction to a hair dye.
Jo Thomson almost lost her sight and even feared for her life as boils erupted all over her body.
She said she did the recommended patch test before using the Schwarzkopf Live Color XXL home dye kit in the shade ‘Cosmic Blue’.
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Jo Thomson, 39, saw her face swell to twice the usual size after a terrible allergic reaction to hair dye
The mother-of-three had dyed her hair using a Schwarzkopf XXL Live home dye kit in shade ‘Cosmic Blue’
But within minutes, ‘it felt like someone had poured petrol over my head, then lit a match – my scalp was red raw and it hurt to even rest against my pillow’.
She took an antihistamine and went to bed, but the next morning she awoke to discover she had swollen up and developed oozing boils.
Her GP told her she was having a mild allergic reaction, and sent her home with antibiotics to recover. But soon she was unable to open her eyes and her sister took her to Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital in Margate.
Mrs Thomson, 39, was again told the reaction would settle and was sent home to recover.
Mrs Thomson, having dyed her hair since her late teens, said had not been worried about the risks – especially as she had performed the patch test manufacturers recommend for safety reasons
But within minutes of applying the dye, her scalp was burning, and by the end of the night she was in agony
She is normally a full-time carer for her husband Paul, 32, but he ended up looking after her as her condition worsened to the point where the skin on her face began to peel off and her eyes glazed over with a thick jelly-like substance.
‘I was almost grateful that I couldn’t see myself,’ said Mrs Thomson, of Margate, who has three children, Tom, 20, William, nine, and Alfie, eight.
‘My children were terrified and ran away from me screaming that I was ugly, like a monster.’
She ‘hid’ at home for a month, before going to an optician who told her that her eyes were ‘peeling like pickled onions’.
Within days, the skin on her face began to peel off and her eyes glazed over with a thick jelly substance
She said: ‘My children were terrified and ran away from me screaming that I was ugly, like a monster’
She was rushed to hospital for an operation to save her sight, and a brain scan and lumbar puncture to drain her spine of toxins, before returning home four days later.
Her skin has largely healed, but Mrs Thomson is still scarred, is now colour-blind and suffers from anxiety and agoraphobia that means she is unable to leave her house.
‘It was terrifying,’ she said. ‘All I’d wanted was a new hairdo, but dying my hair almost killed me.
‘It was the worst mistake of my life. I’ll stick to my natural hair colour now.’
Schwarzkopf urged Mrs Thomson to get in touch with the firm, adding: ‘The safety and compatibility of our cosmetic products are a top priority in all of our activities.’
Mrs Thomson was told she was at risk of permanently losing her sight. She said: ‘The optician told me that my eyes were peeling like pickled onions. I just wanted to die’