***WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES
A style-conscious young woman says she sustained “second and third degree burns" on her right leg after spilling £1.50 (~$2) nail glue on to her cotton leggings, which created a plume of smoke as it burned through the fabric.
Complaints handler Aaleyah Kent, 21, was left screaming in agony after accidentally knocking the adhesive from Primark – which she had used before without incident – off her coffee table.
Now, six months after the accident in June, Aaleyah, of Nuneaton, Warwickshire, England, claims she still has to dress the two wounds she was left with and fears she will be “scarred for life," adding: “When it happened I screamed the house down."
Aaleyah's leg shortly after the incident (PA REAL LIFE/COLLECT)
She continued: “My left calf was sizzling and there was smoke everywhere. The material on the legging immediately melted away.
“My leg started to blister instantly. The glue was burning and eating away at my skin. It was instant pain."
But until the June spillage, Aaleyah had been regularly using nail glue – including the product which bore Primark's own 'PS' beauty brand logo – for years, without experiencing any problems.
Aaleyah's burn after the incident (PA REAL LIFE/COLLECT)
She said: “I've got some on my hands before. It's usually dried and can just be peeled off. It's never burned like that.
“I bought this particular bottle of glue in June, having just got back from holiday in Spain, as my nails looked atrocious.
“I was holding the bottle in my hand and as I went to put it down on the table it fell and spilled on to it, then on to my sofa and my left legging, which it burned straight through."
“There were two patches, one big one which was about two inches by two inches and a smaller one about an inch long," Aaleyah explained.
“But it was strange, because it burned through some of material, yet another patch where it had spilled was fine and didn't burn through.
“It went all over the sofa and the sofa started smoking, too. There is now a big hard patch where it spilled."
Showing the progress of the burn (PA REAL LIFE/COLLECT)
Aaleyah continued: “I had to cut my leggings off, because they were sticking to the burn and then used a cold compress on the wound before bandaging it."
Left with two surface wounds, one about the size of a penny, the other about two inches by two inches, Aaleyah said she was in so much pain because the skin felt tight and the area had swelled to twice its usual size, that she had to take a day off work.
“Then a few days later they opened up and started to pus. One of the burns was healing over but the larger one was an open wound. It started to bleed and pus, and was still really painful. It was like it was eating away at itself. I was getting a shooting, burning pain, so I went to A&E," she said.
Aaleyah (PA REAL LIFE/COLLECT)
“The doctor told me I had second and third degree burns. They dressed my leg properly and for a couple of months, I was returning to the doctors once a week to get the dressing redone," she recalled.
“Twice I have returned to the George Eliot Hospital in Nuneaton, because the wound got infected. It went red and started to leak pus. My leg started to swell, too. It swelled to twice the size."
At the hospital they dressed the burns with a special copper-lined dressing used to treat third degree burns.
The damage to Aaleyah's sofa (PA REAL LIFE/COLLECT)
Aaleyah said: “The doctors at the hospital did discuss whether I would need a skin graft, but because the wound is on the surface and relatively small I don't think I will have to.
“I still wear a dressing, because if I don't it will stick to my clothing. And I can't wear jeans because I can feel the pressure on it.
“I'm still having regular check-ups at the doctors, too, because it does not seem to be going away and I have a special silver and copper dressing, which is meant to help with third degree burns."
“The chemicals have caused the glue to eat away at my skin," Aaleyah said.
“And if I have a bath I have to stick my leg out so it doesn't get wet because if it does it will go straight back to be infected, the doctors said.
“The injury is in an awkward position because it's on my calf so this is really difficult when trying to wash. I couldn't expose it to the sun during the summer either because the wound was exposed and it would burn."
Aaleyah's burn about a month after the incident (PA REAL LIFE/COLLECT)
Aaleyah said she complained to Primark by filling in a form online a few weeks after the incident, but did not receive a response.
“I didn't hear anything back but I didn't pursue it any further because I thought it was my fault," she recalled.
“There was a warning on the packaging saying that it was flammable, and it was my error that caused it to fall. I should have been more careful."
Aaleyah and a friend (PA REAL LIFE/VENTURE STUDIOS BIRMINGHAM)
“But I also think the product must be very poor quality if it can do damage like that. I would never have expected that to happen, and it has not happened with other nail glues," she added.
“The warning is at the bottom on the actual product after you read through other text, so perhaps they could make it clearer, especially as children use this product.
“I just want people to be aware of how dangerous it can be, of the damage it can cause and to make sure they are really careful when using it."
Aaleyah's burn (PA REAL LIFE/COLLECT)
Aaleyah continued: “I certainly didn't imagine my injury would still look so bad six months after the accident. It's really worrying. My doctor said it will never heal 100 percent, so I'm worried I will be scarred for life."
A spokesman for Primark, said they had not received a complaint from Aaleyah, but added: “We were very sorry to learn of this customer's experience and ask her to get in touch with us so we can investigate her complaint. We take the safety of our customers and the quality of our products very seriously. This nail glue complies fully with EU standards for safety, quality and product labelling.
“The glue is made of two ingredients which are both commonly used in similar products sold by retailers across the high street. The ingredients are listed on the product packaging alongside the required warnings about skin contact."