Laser Hair Removal Burn Compensation
Along with other non-surgical cosmetic procedures, laser hair removal is becoming increasingly popular. Each year in the UK, thousands of people looking for near-permanent hair removal undergo the treatment. Most procedures go smoothly, however, in some cases, laser hair removal can burn the pigment of the skin. This can result in painful, permanent scarring.
If you have been left with burns or scarring following laser hair removal, you may be entitled to compensation. The solicitors at Jefferies are ready to help you. Call our friendly team on 0800 342 3206 or get in touch online to discuss your potential claim.
Types of laser hair removal treatment
There are two types of hair removal treatment: intense pulsed light (IPL) and laser. Both methods work to remove hair by hitting hair cells in the root with high-intensity light rays. The light rays (which reach temperatures of up to 100°C) are absorbed by the dark pigment (melanin) in black or brown hair and this prevents the hair from growing back.
IPL is the more affordable of the two types but is less effective, because the light rays are less targeted. This also means that the method is considered to be riskier. What’s more, because pulsed light does not work as well as a laser, an individual may have many more treatments than they need but not get the degree of permanent hair reduction to make it worth their while. In some cases, this results in painful burns and permanent scarring.
In contrast, laser hair removal requires more expensive machinery which produces a concentrated beam of light that can be adjusted more precisely. Because the light rays are more focused, they are less likely to damage the skin and cause burns or bruising.
Burns after laser hair removal
Many laser hair removal therapists have thorough training and deliver safe and successful treatment.
However, the laser hair removal industry is unregulated, which means anyone can perform the procedure, without the need for a licence. In some cases, this can result in poor results or worse, painful burns.
It is not unusual for the skin around the lasered area to be red and slightly sore in the 24 hours after an appointment. However, burns or pain that last longer than this are not normal. Other common side effects include:
- Excessive swelling
- Patches of lighter or darker skin for a period of months afterwards
- Erythema ab igne (EAI), a skin reaction caused by prolonged or repeated exposure to the laser or IPL
- Livedo reticularis, a rare condition where the skin becomes mottled or patchy
People with darker skin are at higher risk of side effects from laser hair removal. This is because of the higher concentration of the pigment melanin in the upper layers of darker skin, which absorbs the heat of the light rays and can lead to burns.
Causes of laser hair removal burns
There are a number of reasons why laser hair removal burns may occur, including:
- Machines set at the wrong frequency
- The laser might be directed at particular areas for too long,
- An individual might have hair removal sessions too frequently
- Poor quality or faulty equipment may be used
Owners of salons or clinics have a duty of care to ensure the safety of their customers. Crucially, they must ensure that staff are properly trained and supervised and that equipment is properly maintained and safe to use.
If you decide to have laser hair removal, the salon or clinic should fully inform you of all of the potential risks and side effects associated with the procedure before the treatment.
You should be given ample opportunity to change your mind about going ahead with laser hair removal. In addition, staff should give you advice about what to do if you experience problems afterwards.
Hair removal patch tests
Several days before your full treatment is scheduled, you should be given a patch test on a small area of skin. This will help the practitioner to determine the best laser and the precise grade of laser energy to use to achieve the best results for your skin and hair type. More than one patch test might be necessary different lasers to ensure the right laser is used.
More importantly, a patch test will indicate any adverse side effects or highlight problems before you have the full treatment. If your skin reacts badly to the patch test, adjustments to the grade and type of laser used can be made. You might even decide not to go ahead with the treatment at all.
If you have had laser hair removal without being offered a patch test and have experienced adverse side effects, you may be entitled to compensation.
What to do if you have experienced burns following laser hair removal
If you have experienced any of the side effects outlined above, there a number of steps you should take. First, seek medical attention from your GP or, visit your local A&E department or call 111 for advice.
You should also contact the salon or clinic that carried out the procedure to report the incident. If your burns are minor, they should be able to advise you how to treat the skin.
If you wish to pursue a claim for compensation, you should contact a specialist personal injury solicitor with experience in dealing with laser hair removal claims.
Claiming for laser hair removal burns
If you have been burned or left with permanent scarring following laser hair removal, you may be able to claim compensation. The solicitors at Jefferies are ready to help you.
Get in touch with our team on 0800 342 3206 or contact us online for a free initial conversation about your potential claim.