Laser Hair Removal Treatment Leaves Woman Permanently Scarred

Expert Lawyers Call For Greater Regulation Of Growing Industry


A woman who was severely burnt and left with permanent scars after undergoing laser hair removal at a beauty clinic is backing calls for stricter regulation of the industry after she received a four-figure out-of-court settlement from the salon.

Michelle Jackson, from the Isle of Wight, had intense pulse hair removal treatment at the Island Cosmetic Clinic in February 2009 on her legs in a bid to be hair free, but the nurse increased the intensity of the treatment too quickly causing her weeks of agony and feeling like her legs were on fire.

The 41-year-old contacted personal injury experts at law firm Irwin Mitchell who were forced to issue court proceedings after the clinic repeatedly refused to admit responsibility but at the last minute they offered £9,500 to Michelle for her suffering.

The firm agrees with recent warnings from health professionals and is now urging the government to consider stricter regulation for the laser hair industry. Thousands of women have been hurt, burnt and scarred and Michelle is echoing these calls after what happened to her.

Kerry Hadley, an injury expert at Irwin Mitchell, said: “We have received an increasing number of enquiries over the past two years from patients who have suffered disfigurement as a result of cosmetic procedures, particularly laser hair removal leading to burns.

“The Department of Health says the regulation of laser and Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) hair removal is under review and we hope action is taken quickly to prevent any other serious incidents of injury like the one Michelle suffered.

“It’s been particularly hard for Michelle to come to terms with as she did not take the decision lightly and did the sensible thing and went for a patch test which had no adverse effects before the full appointment took place. But it seems the laser intensity was increased to far more than she expected causing the agonising pain and permanent scars.”

As well as the patch test, Michelle followed all other recommendations from the clinic, such as not shaving for a week before until the day and not using sun beds prior to the treatment.

During the two hours appointment she felt some discomfort and the nurse told her the high intensity being used was not normally introduced until the sixth treatment but encouraged her it was ok.

Michelle left the clinic after being told to apply cooling aloe vera gel to her legs which had lots of red patches already.

Michelle, a public service worker, said: “By the following evening my legs felt like they were on fire and the itching was unbearable. The bottom of my leg left was really swollen blistered and weeping and I barely slept due to constantly feeling like I needed to reapply the cooling gel. It was absolutely horrendous.

“It was relentless and I tried to ring the clinic but there was no answer so eventually I went down to see them. They had a look and just said not to touch and to keep the area clean.

“I couldn’t bear the pain any more so I went to my doctor the next day who was shocked at the state of my legs. He prescribed cream and antibiotics because my left leg had become infected but the constant itching and pain went on for a month before it calmed down. It was a nightmare.

“I have got permanent marks on my legs that make me self-conscious and I don’t like wearing skirts or bikinis. I regret booking the appointment with the clinic in the first place and I just hope steps are taken to make sure the industry is better regulated and managed so no one else suffers like I have.

“The treatment is sold as something relatively straight forward and unlikely to cause problems but I am proof that is not the case and people need to be aware of the dangers that come with laser hair removal.”

If you've suffered due to negligent cosmetic surgery you might be entitled to claim compensation. See our Cosmetic Surgery Compensation or Laser Treatment Claims page for more information.