By Ashley Helms | Sep 02, 2014 02:27 PM EDT
A British waitress feared for her life after hair dye triggered a horrific allergic reaction that left her blind for five days, The Daily Mail reported on Tuesday.
Tina Littlewood, 41, had been coloring her hair for 20 years and never had a problem before she bought a kit for an upcoming trip to visit her son on his Army base. Hours after applying the Clairol Nice 'N Easy dye, her face swelled up to the size of a rugby ball and became covered in weeping blisters. Doctors later compared her injuries to those of a fire victim's burns. Eventually, she needed hospital treatment to combat the reaction.
'It was so terrifying that at one point I thought, 'This is it, it's over - I'm going to die because of a hair color,'' Littlewood told The Daily Mail. 'It was agony. I thought I would be left blind if not worse.'
She said she followed the instructions on the packet and tested the dye on a patch of skin two days before application. She said she didn't experience a reaction within that time.
But within 20 minutes of using the dye on her hair, her head started to itch immensely.
'It got worse and worse so I went to bed and tried to forget about it. When I woke up in the morning I was in agony,' she told The Daily Mail. 'The itching was so intense and I couldn't open one eye. I looked in the mirror and my head was like a rugby ball.'
Her husband, Glenn Littlewood, a 41-year-old former soldier, took her to the doctor, who initially prescribed her antihistamines to bring down the swelling.
Despite the antihistamines, the symptoms became worse and swelling caused both of her eyes to close. Her pillows became soaked in puss from her scalp and behind her ears.
She has since returned home and her symptoms have subsided due to steroid injections, antibiotics and antihistimines. Littlewood said she wants to warn her friends and family and said she'll never dye her hair again.
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