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.
Second, the FDA does not guarantee safe laser removal. The FDA considers all laser hair removal devices as medical devices. The agency regulates their manufacture, labeling, and servicing.
Third, Illinois considers the use of lasers as a “practice of medicine, which shall only be performed by a physician licensed to practice medicine.” 68 Ill. Adm.Code § 1285.336(b)(2).
The notice of proposed amendment to the regulations acknowledges the misuse of lasers by unqualified persons: “Lasers are frequently used in “medical spas” to remove hair, birthmarks or previously applied tattoos. The misuse of laser equipment by inadequately educated or trained individuals without adequate physician supervision can result in permanent scarring, long-term pain or even misdiagnosed cancers. This proposed amendment clarifies existing law and the longstanding position of the Department and the Medical Disciplinary Board that laser equipment, which affects living layers of skin, is a medical device and must only be used with direct supervision by a physician.” 32 Ill. Reg. Sec. 4127 (Mar 21, 2008).
Lasers can cause serious burns, scars, infections, and discolorations. It is not uncommon for victims of unqualified technicians to end up in the burn unit of a hospital with blisters and lasting disfigurement.
Before going for a hair removal procedure, make sure that the technician who will work on your skin is qualified and works under the supervision of a medical doctor. Before subjecting yourself to laser hair removal procedure, a physician must examine you to ensure that you are an appropriate candidate. Many factors can affect how your body will react to a laser light, including certain medications, prior sun exposure, medical conditions. The laser technician must perform a patch test on a small area of your body prior to hair removal. The technician must have sufficient training and must have a medical education. Don’t forget that laser hair removal affects the living layers of your skin. It is invasive, dangerous, and harmful if performed by unqualified person. Instead of losing your hair, you may lose your skin.
If you have been burned by a hair removal procedure contact us to explore your options.