Now more than ever, people want to look their best, and are willing to pay thousands of dollars to take part in the latest advances in technology which promise hair-free, acne-free and wrinkle-free skin. Laser hair removal spas and clinics have popped up in almost every town and city in Massachusetts. Laser hair removal works by exposing the hair follicle to pulses of laser light, eventually destroying the follicle itself. Although generally heralded as a safe, effective way to get smooth, hair-free skin, laser hair removal can result in second and third-degree burns, as well as significant, permanent scarring if performed incorrectly. What many people do not know is that those who perform the procedures are not required to be medical professionals, and sometimes have very little medical training.
Some states do not regulate laser hair removal at all, and only 26 states require supervision by a medical professional, Massachusetts among them. However, the medical professional does not necessarily have to be on site during all treatment, and may play little, if any, role in safeguarding the client’s health. In a study published in October 2013 in the Dermatology Journal of the American Medical Association regarding whether there is an increased health risk in undergoing laser hair removal by a non-physician, the study found that between 2008 and 2012, 85.7% of laser hair removal lawsuits involved non-physician operators, and the majority of those procedures (64%) were performed outside of the traditional medical setting. Putting aside the thousands of dollars it costs to undergo laser hair removal, inexperienced and inadequately trained operators can pose serious health risks to unknowing consumers.
Everyone should have a consultation with a physician to determine if the treatment is right for his/her skin type. Once someone has decided to undergo the treatment, there are several questions the client should ask beforehand. Always ask whether the spa or clinic is owned or operated by a physician. Clients should also ask about the credentials of the operator and whether a physician is on site for all treatments. The laser settings should be carefully tailored to each person’s specific skin type (fair, medium, dark, sensitive, etc.) and hair types (fine or coarse). The individual performing the laser hair removal should take a comprehensive history regarding the client’s past medical history, sun exposure, medications and the like. The operator should also test the laser settings on a small, discrete area of the body to ensure there is no reaction to the process or the settings. Effective laser hair removal often takes multiple sessions, so someone should not believe it is entirely safe simply because he or she had one or two successful treatments.
SUGARMAN lawyers have experience handling claims relating to injuries occurring as a result of negligently provided laser hair removal services. If you or a family member has been seriously injured as a result of laser hair removal services and wish to speak with one of our personal injury attorneys, please fill out a Contact Form, call us at (617) 542-1000 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.