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Int J Clin Pract. 2004 May;58(5):530-2.

Henna (Lawsonia inermis Linn.) induced haemolytic anaemia in siblings.

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  • 1Department of Medical Jurisprudence, Atatürk University School of Medicine, Erzurum, Turkey.


Henna is a traditional cosmetic agent and is used worldwide. It is used worldwide not only as a cosmetic agent to stain the hair, skin and nails but also is applied to the body on lesions in the treatment of seborrheic dermatitis or fungal infections. Different pathologies have been described as caused by henna. The aim of this study is to draw attention to the adverse effects of henna, applied over the whole body, observed in glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) enzyme deficient siblings. In the present paper, we report on two siblings with G6PD deficiency who developed haemolytic anaemia following topical application of henna to their whole body to treat skin lesions. Their parents were also found to be G6PD deficient. Even though anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antipyretic effects of henna have been shown, it may cause severe side-effects in some cases. For this reason, especially, in the regions where G6PD enzyme deficiency is common, people should be informed about the side-effects of topical henna application and clinicians should be aware of these manifestations.

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