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Laser Hair Removal Injuries

Burns, 2nd and 3rd Degree Burns – Often Lead to Significant Scarring and Disfigurement

Americans are increasingly receiving laser hair removal treatments without knowing of the possible risks. While these procedures used to fall under the umbrella of medical procedures, the practice is growing more and more commercial. When we see this offered as a salon service, we likely do not contemplate it as we would a serious medical procedure. Unfortunately, salons and spas are not held to the same standard of care as doctors, and poor training and supervision often result in injuries to clients.

Laser hair removal uses a special laser to heat the hair follicles with the intention of temporarily preventing the hair from growing back in. Most clients require multiple treatment to reach their goal. Some practices try to move this process along using a pulsed light machine, a method that delivers heat more quickly. This method also has a higher instance rate of second and third degree burns.

Second degree burns penetrate below the top layer of skin. Patients that suffer second degree burns often experience blisters, redness, and soreness. Pain or discomfort may last upwards of three weeks. Burns that are more severe may even require skin grafting. Third degree burns, however, are much more serious. These penetrate every layer of skin, and may even impact organs, nerves, or enter the bloodstream. Third degree burns may look white, waxy, or even charred. Extreme cases see more dangerous symptoms amounting to blood loss, shock, or infection. Either type of burn can leave lasting scarring and disfigurement on the affected area.

Because these operations are usually not categorized as medical procedures, legal recourse will unlikely be available in a medical malpractice suit. Professionals who specialize in this procedure do not need a medical license, so they are not held to the same duty of care a licensed doctor would be held to. The FDA approves of this method of permanent hair removal, however more and more injuries in the field have led to questions regarding if the treatment should be administered by non-medical personnel. If you have been injured during a laser hair removal procedure, you may have an action for negligence, products liability, assault, or a violation of the Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

Negligent administration of the procedure is a common cause of injury. Negligence is the most likely theory this type of cause would be brought under. A negligence action would be successful if we can establish that the technician breached their standard duty of care that caused your injury. A technician has a duty of care to follow the protocols and safety measures common in their profession. For example, they must use functioning machinery, have proper training, and use all steps other technicians would reasonably use in the same procedure. A negligence action may be brought against the technician specifically, the practice they are operating under, or the manufacturer of any flawed devices used in the procedure. Damages may include medical expenses, any costs to remedy the injury such as plastic surgery, rehabilitation services, or even compensation for emotional distress.

Defective equipment may give rise to a product liability lawsuit. This type of suit targets the manufacturer of the equipment used during the procedure. If you believe the product was defective, contact us to get your product liability claim started.

Altman & Altman LLP has over 40 years of experience in the Boston area and our experiences team of burn lawyers are ready to help you get the compensation you deserve. To schedule your free consultation with an experienced whistleblower attorney at Altman & Altman LLP, call 617.492.3000 or contact us through our convenient online chat.

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