The retailer believes the chemicals in the gel may have reacted with others used by Mr Cuss for his work. A doctor instructed Mr Cuss to soothe the inflamed skin by applying a moisturiser twice a day for a month, but he has since recovered with no lasting physical damage. Mr Cuss bought the Dettol-branded gel from the High Street branch of 99p Stores in his home town of Gosport, Hampshire. “It was the first time I had bought this particular shower gel, and chose it because it had the Dettol brand on the front, which I trusted,” he said. “I had a shower to freshen up when I got home from work and suffered an horrendous reaction.
“When I stepped out of the shower and looked down at my groin I could see I had been burned.” He said the area was inflamed and glowing bright red, and he had lost a layer of skin. “I was horrified and scared I may have suffered permanent damage,” he said. “As the area dried, I was left in incredible pain, with a burning sensation. I had trouble sleeping, and could not lie on my front because it was far too painful. I had tears in my eyes when pulling on my boxer shorts, and if any material simply brushed the area I almost doubled over in pain. I grimaced with every move.”
He added: “Because I’m self employed I had to go to work and battle through the pain, which was a real struggle. The whole incident left me feeling depressed because I feared my ordeal would never end.” He said he didn’t know what he would do with the £1,000 compensation, “but I certainly wont be spending it on shower gel in 99p Stores”. Mr Cuss entered a lengthy legal battle with 99p Stores – which has not admitted liability – after instructing lawyers to act on his behalf. A spokesman for Reckitt Benckiser,the makers of Dettol, said: “A review of the product packaging identified it as most likely a product originally made for the Korean market and imported as a grey market product.”