Cosmetic laser treatment is dangerously unregulated, warn experts

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 10 May 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e3346
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. 1London

Experts have called for cosmetic laser treatment to be regulated, warning that its misuse can result in skin burns, blistering, scarring, and permanent blindness.

Laser and intense pulse light cosmetic treatments are becoming increasingly popular for the removal of hair, tattoos, and birthmarks as well as for skin “rejuvenation” or “resurfacing.” These treatments are offered at an estimated 10 000 beauty salons and clinics in England and there is no requirement that the practitioner is trained or registered.

Experts from the Society for Radiological Protection expressed their concerns at a press conference in London on 9 May ahead of the International Radiation Protection Association Congress in Glasgow later this month.

“Lasers, by their nature, are dangerous pieces of equipment,” warned Harry Moseley, consultant clinical scientist and head of a dermatological laser clinic at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee, which treats both NHS and private patients. He said he knew of many cases where patients had been …

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