A woman "could have died" after a tattoo she got from an unlicensed artist gave her a life-threatening infection.
Nancy Anderson, 20, has been left with permanent scars after the ink gave her a festering hole in her wrist.
She couldn't get an appointment at her favourite high street studio and her friends encouraged her to message a man who tattooed clients in his house.
Nancy, from Wickford, Essex, said the pain was "excruciating" and knew something was wrong when the so-called artist did not wrap the ink with cling film, a key part of the tattooing process to avoid infection.
She has six other tattoos on her body, and claims the pain normally feels "just like pins and needles".
Nancy said: "This was just horrible, I had to get him to stop as it was so bad."
She couldn't feel her arm when she woke up the next day.
After calling her GP she went straight to hospital where she was told she had a serious life-threatening infection which needed urgent treatment.
Six antibiotic drips were used to treat Nancy's infection.
She said: "They said my arm was infected and they needed to stop it reaching my heart.
"Where my hand was so swollen, I was told it was stopping my blood circulating and I had to be kept in overnight."
Nancy had been itching to get her new ink and was able to get an appointment the same day from the unlicensed artist.
The tattoo took five hours, much longer than normal, and the artist didn't follow standard tattooing procedure.
Nancy said: "Every time I've had a tattoo in the past, they always covered everything in cling film but he just put tissue on top.
"When I asked him for cling film he said it wasn't necessary.
"I didn't leave until 10pm - a tattoo that size should not have taken that long."
Nancy wants to warn people about choosing cut-price tattoo artists that disregard health and safety.
She said: "It's not worth the risk just to save some money.
"I've been left with permanent scars and I don't think any professional will be able to fix it."