Laser skin resurfacing is an effective and non-invasive alternative to a facelift, smoothing out areas of skin, particularly fine lines and wrinkles around the mouth and eyes. The treatment can also be used to remove blemishes, such as stretch marks, scars and liver spots. The laser light blasts the surface of the skin, destroying the outer layers and exposing the deeper (pink) dermis layer, that is then heated by the laser’s energy to stimulate the production of collagen, a protein that is necessary to create and bind together new soft tissue and skin cells.
Yes. Laser skin resurfacing requires both technical precision and accurate pre-treatment evaluation. A skin patch test will help the laser technician calculate the optimum intensity of the laser light, and the amount of time it needs to be beamed onto the skin to achieve the desired results. Small errors and miscalculations at this stage can have disastrous consequences. There are also certain contraindications that make laser procedures inadvisable for an individual, including pregnancy, diabetes and a tendency to form keloid (raised) scars. A proper medical consultation should therefore determine whether or not it is safe to proceed with a resurfacing treatment.
Initially a doctor and then a specialist solicitor in this field. Laser beams and intense pulsed light (IPL) can severely damage the skin if the machine settings are too high, or if they are directed at areas of skin for even marginally too long. Burns often cause blistering and scarring that may disfigure a person for many months or even permanently. Laser light may also change the pigmentation (colour) of the skin, with darker skin in particular being prone to lightening. There is a further risk of eye damage when laser skin resurfacing is being carried out around the eyes, and for this reason patients must be provided with protective goggles to wear during their treatment.
This is a common problem. Since the Government deregulated the cosmetic use of laser and IPL equipment in 2010, the prospective patient’s choice of clinic and practitioner has become a critical issue. No formal qualifications are currently required to perform laser skin resurfacing treatments, neither are there any guidelines or quality controls regarding the equipment that can be used. It is important to check that practitioners hold a laser/IPL BTEC qualification in laser treatments, and have a track record of safely carrying out skin resurfacing procedures. Clinics and salons must also be hygienic and properly ventilated to reduce the risk of infections.
With around 10,000 private clinics offering non-surgical cosmetic laser treatments in the UK, and the popularity of such procedures on the rise, the lack of regulation of the industry continues to provoke widespread criticism from official medical bodies. Until the Government takes action to ensure that clinics offering cosmetic laser procedures are subject to some form of official oversight, patients will continue to be at risk from what the Daily Mail terms ‘cosmetic surgery cowboys’. It is still possible, however, to take legal action when a procedure like laser skin resurfacing has gone wrong and caused injury.
If you have been burned or otherwise injured by a laser skin resurfacing treatment at a cosmetic clinic or beauty salon, contact our expert female solicitors today for free, confidential legal advice. Our experience in this relatively new area of law means that our lawyers will be able to negotiate the best possible compensation settlement on your behalf.