Mum's warning after cosmetic treatment leads to flesh-eating infection

·3-min read

A mum has warned others to stay away from tanning injections after the chemicals in the controversial cosmetic treatment tore through her skin and created a flesh-eating infection.

As well as a gaping hole in her bum, Danielle Trevarthen, 26, from Cornwall, UK, suffered multiple seizures from the DIY beauty treatment.

She got her then-boyfriend to inject her after being gifted the needle from an acquaintance, in a bid to get an all-round sun-kissed glow.

Tanning injections darken skin by replicating a hormone which stimulates the production of melanin in the skin. They are illegal in the UK.

Mum Danielle Trevarthen when she tanned and fairer now after the flesh-eating infection.
Mum Danielle Trevarthen, 26, suffered five seizures and a flesh-eating infection. Source: Jam Press/Australscope

But a week after getting the injection, an almost 13cm abscess appeared on her left bum cheek.

"I remember I felt sick almost immediately after using it but I thought it was probably normal," Ms Trevarthen, an ambulance dispatch worker, told NeedToKnow.

"A few days went by and I couldn’t sit on my left buttock. It was painful, red and just looked angry.

"I kept an eye on it and after about a week it turned into an abscess. I was going to the doctors but nothing was killing it. The infection was living off of my skin and getting bigger and deeper."

Mum suffers multiple seizures

The 26-year-old mum went to the doctors after she noticed her breathing wasn’t right, and was prescribed a course of antibiotics and painkillers.

But despite visiting the doctor every day for the next week to get her prescription, the abscess failed to go away.

It was then that Ms Trevarthen suffered the first of five seizures in her local GP practice, which saw her rushed to hospital.

The mum in hospital and the open wound on her bum.
The 26-year-old suffered multiple seizures and was hospitalised. Source: Jam Press/Australscope

"I went in as usual feeling sick with a high temperature, and as I left I went to the toilet to be sick but I collapsed and had a seizure on the doctor's floor," she said.

"I had another three seizures before the ambulance arrived. I was petrified.

"After I was rushed to hospital, I had tubes shoved down my throat as my airways had tightened and I wasn't physically able to breathe by myself.

"My body took an absolute battering from it all."

She spent the next three weeks in hospital on a ventilator.

Urgent warning to others

Ms Trevarthen discharged herself after three weeks before resting up at home and has since made a full recovery – with the scar serving as a reminder of the close call.

Now, five years after the incident, the mum steers clear of the sun-kissed look and religiously uses sunscreen.

She's urging others to do the same and to stay away from using injections as a quick way to get a tan.

"I just cannot stress enough how dangerous they are and for others to avoid them," the 26-year-old said.

"I was so scared and petrified at the time. I'm just glad I'm healed and better now."

Olive Loveridge-Greene /Jam Press/Australscope

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