A woman was shocked and terrified when huge warts sprung up all over her arm tattoo and started to spread everywhere.
Jade Harvey thought it was just a skin reaction when she noticed the lumps bulging out of her snake ink shortly after getting pregnant.
But the 20-year-old rushed to the doctor when they wouldn’t stop growing – where she was told they had to be burned off using liquid nitrogen.
‘It looked like nothing I had ever seen before,’ says Jade. ‘Be careful where you get your tattoos.’
Warts can spread on to tattoos that are done near pre-existing boils, with pregnancy hormones exacerbating the condition.
But Jade, from Cape Coral, Florida, still doesn’t know what exactly caused her breakout.
She initially went to get her serpent tattoo on an impulse back in June 2020.
She had seen the image of a snake online and asked for it to be drawn as if it was curling round her forearm, and it cost her $150 (£113).
After the two hours were up, Jade was happy with her new ink, but noticed it had been done close to a pre-existing wart near her wrist.
‘We never talked about it – I knew the wart was there, I knew [the tattoo artist] saw it, but he never said anything either,’ she says.
On Boxing Day that same year, she started to get sore boobs and was urinating frequently so decided to take a pregnancy test – which was positive.
Jade, who works at retailer Target, says: ‘I was just like very in shock, I never actually thought I was going to get pregnant, I didn’t think it could happen.
‘I was scared but I told my parents and they were really supportive.’
Her pregnancy continued normally, until, almost exactly a year after getting it, she started noticing new warts growing on the tail of her snake tattoo.
‘I was in the pool and I thought the sun had caused the tattoo to flare up or something,’ she recalls.
The boils continued to get larger, but as they didn’t hurt or irritate her too much, and with some reassurance from her midwife, Jade left them alone.
She gave birth to her first daughter Ella Spring Harvey on September 2, but even after that the warts still didn’t disappear.
She went to see her doctor who informed her that she should have them removed, using either a cream or by burning them off.
As she was breastfeeding she didn’t want to use the cream, so she opted to have them burnt away using liquid nitrogen then and there.
‘It felt like she was torching my skin,’ she says. ‘It felt like a torch was on hand or I was holding dry ice – not fun.’
Unfortunately, Jade had to go back for another session the following month because they lumps refused to go.
She shared her story on TikTok in a cautionary tale that now has nearly 200,000 likes.
Jade adds: ‘Be careful who you go to and where you get a tattoo – avoid places next to warts and don’t be impulsive.’
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