Articles Posted in Laser Burns

Under the Barber, Cosmetology, Esthetics and Nail Technology Act of 1985, 225 ILCS 410/1 et seq., licensed cosmetologists “are prohibited from using any technique, product, or practice intended to affect the living layers of the skin.” 225 ILCS 410/3-1. Removal of unwanted hair involves affecting the dermis, which is a living layer of the skin.

The Act states that the “term cosmetology includes rendering advice on what is cosmetically appealing, but no person licensed under this Act shall render advice on what is appropriate medical treatment for diseases of the skin.”

Only persons who are qualified and under the supervision of a medical doctor may perform laser hair removal. A physician may “delegate the performance of non-ablative procedures to a licensed practical nurse, a registered professional nurse, or other persons” with on site supervision by the physician or by telephone or other electronic means. 68 Ill. Adm.Code § 1285.336(b)(3)(B). Before the physician delegates the use of laser, “[t]he physician must examine the patient and determine a course of treatment appropriate to the patient prior to any ablative or non-ablative procedures.” 68 Ill. Adm.Code § 1285.336(b)(3). The person delegated the authority to perform any laser procedures “must have received appropriate, documented training and education in the safe and effective use of each system utilized.” 68 Ill. Adm.Code § 1285.336(b)(4)

Numerous spas have cropped up in Chicago and the suburbs, which advertise laser hair removal services. Some of these spas call themselves “medical spas” and declare that they use FDA approved lasers, and that therefore the laser hair removal performed at the spa is safe, guaranteed, and FDA endorsed. They claim that their hair removal service is “non invasive” and specifically designed to safely remove hair.

However, these claims are misleading for several reasons.

First, hair removal is invasive as the hair root is located within the dermis, which is a living layer of the skin.