Hair removal “cowboys” who harm their patients

Hair removal can be a dangerous business if not done properly, and women who use clinics that don’t obey safety regulations are the most at risk. As are those who have bought devices on the Internet at a low-cost. Some women are being told that the clinic they are going to is safe in the hope of removing hair at a low price. Some patients who have been to clinics which are not safe have reported receiving burns to parts of the body, some have has even reported eye damage because they have not been given proper eye safety equipment.

Some clinics are still using poor equipment, such as devices which use intense pulsed light. The leading organisation for hair removal in the UK is Laser Active. This organisation has criticised the government for abolishing some controls as part of budget cuts and this has allowed anyone with any sort of laser to open a clinic.

“What we have seen is controls completely disappear and pretty much anyone can just establish a clinic and call themselves an expert,” says Gill Leeden who is the founder of Laser Active. Ms Leeden has launched popular clinics in London at Canary Wharf but before she could do so she had to do an intensive course.

“One slip with a laser and permanent damage can be done to eyes if no safety glasses are worn, yet many of these amateurs totally disregard the dangers,” said Gill. “It costs a lot of money to buy the specialist medical equipment needed to operate professionally and put the patient at the forefront of safety.”

Laser Active says most beauty salons use an IPL (intense pulsed light) device because only doctors and nurses are permitted to purchase medical grade lasers. “Very often the only training these users have had is from the manual,” said Gill. “IPLs are dangerous in the hands of amateurs with no training.”

Gill, whose company is currently being franchised across the country in a bid to stamp out the cowboys, added: “As the Government appears to have abandoned any official regulatory control over these dangerous practices, then we have to offer people a safe and ethical alternative,” she continued.

Laser Active says its franchises will only be available to qualified nurses who agree to undertake proper training, but the benefits to patients will be enormous. “They can undertake treatment in a safe environment where their health is paramount and which uses only the best equipment, handled by properly qualified and registered nurses,” she added.

Information from Laser Active on