A holiday-maker will potentially be scarred for life after having a severe allergic reaction to a henna tattoo moustache on his face.

British born Arran Waye got the tattoo as a "bit of a laugh". But he's not finding the curly mo' so amusing now: it's still on his face and may be there forever.

The plumber got the henna tattoo at the Benidorm fiesta in Spain. Soon after it had been applied he began having a reaction and the design began to turn red.

"The whole face was pushing out with blisters come Sunday, 2 o'clock in the morning," he said.

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Waye's face was so swollen he had difficulty getting through passport control at the airport. Photo / AP
Waye's face was so swollen he had difficulty getting through passport control at the airport. Photo / AP

The swelling and extreme pain left Waye questioning whether or not it was safe for him to fly back to the UK.

"Weren't sure if I could fly [sic]. I eventually took the risk and I did, and [my] airwaves were closing up. I had a bad allergic reaction.

"Then as I landed I struggled to get through passport control because my face didn't look like it did on the passport photo."

Now back home, while the swelling has gone down, the tattoo is still prominent on Waye's face, the ink drawing a line that spirals from his cheek to his upper lip: "In all honesty, it was stupidity."