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Teenager suffers burns across face and body after head lice shampoo catches fire

After coming home from boarding school for Christmas with head lice, Aleema Ali turned to a medicated shampoo to get rid of them.

But while she waited the recommended five minutes for the solution to work, she went to take the rubbish out in the kitchen.

Her mum was cooking at the time and neither of them realised that the stuff on Aleema’s hair was extremely flammable.

As the then 12-year-old walked past the cooker, her hair caught fire and her head was quickly engulfed in flames.

She was rushed to hospital and taken to intensive care where she had to be placed in a coma for two months.

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Now four years on, Aleema, from Bradford, West Yorkshire, has slowly rebuilt her life and she is now studying A-levels in college.

Aleema before the accident (Picture: Jam Press)

Describing the terrifying accident, Aleema said: ‘I had caught head lice and I asked my mum to take them out for me. That same night, she put the medication onto my hair and then went to the kitchen to make food.

‘I went to the kitchen to get to the bin and whilst I was walking past, my hair caught fire as the medicine was extremely flammable.

‘I panicked and went to a state of shock and the only thing I could think was, “I’m going to die.”

‘I was in a coma for two months so there was no immediate reaction. They slowly built up the amount of time I was awake.’

Aleema suffered third-degree burns on 55% of her body including her face, head, arms, chest, thighs, stomach, back and hands. She also lost seven fingers and is currently only able to move two of her remaining fingers

She has had many skin graft surgeries and has had to wear specialised garments to help her skin heal, as well as a daily medication regime to help her body deal with the damage.

Aleema in hospital (Picture: Jam Press)

She said: ‘My recovery was extremely difficult and it is still ongoing. Every day, I have to do nebulisers, humidifiers, pressure garments, splits, creams, medication and much a more.

‘I’ve had hundreds of surgeries before and will hopefully have more in the future.

‘Every single member of the NHS has been so supportive from the hospitals I’ve been to including Birmingham children’s hospital, Sheffield children’s hospital and Pinderfields.

Aleema now (Picture: Jam Press)

‘Internally, I am completely fine. I was also told my hair wouldn’t grow back but miraculously it has. I can still lead a completely normal life. I can drive and do everyday activities.’

She now posts make up tutorials on her TikTok page @aleemaxali and has over 250,000 followers.

She has gained millions of views on her videos, with one of her make up videos amassing 15.8 million views.

She said: ‘In a way, I am now glad this happened. It’s made me into a better person. My self-love and confidence have risen rapidly.

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‘It’s changed my life for the better. I’m much stronger, braver and more confident than I was before.’

Now, Aleema has since launched a GoFundMe page to raise money for further skin graft surgery on her nose and lips.

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MORE: Mum’s dress catches fire and leaves her scarred for life thanks to homemade bonfire

MORE: Teen ‘burns from the inside out’ after taking anti-anxiety medication

MORE: Boy suffers second-degree burns after phone charger explodes in middle of night

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