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Woman Suffered Severe Burns After Laser Hair Removal Treatment

Personal Injury Lawyers Secure Admission From Beauty Clinic


A 38-year-old woman left with severe burns and significant scarring on her body after having laser hair removal treatment in Marlow is urging clinics to take more care to prevent others suffering similar injuries.

Rebecca Burnell, from Ickenham, in Middlesex booked an appointment at the Marlow Nail and Beauty Clinic on 28th November 2013 for some top up laser hair removal sessions to her legs, inner thighs and bikini line.

She was advised by the beautician to mark out the areas where the treatment was required with a pen – but when she had the procedure she suffered severe burns and is now left with extensive scarring. She is also unable to expose the affected areas to sunlight as this causes the skin to darken.

Rebecca instructed specialist cosmetic treatment team at Irwin Mitchell to investigate her treatment and now the law firm has secured an admission of liability from Marlow Beauty Clinic. It was alleged that the treatment should not have been provided to Rebecca when she had the black ink on her skin, as the laser absorbed the black pen causing the burns.

Expert Opinion
“Over the past couple of years we have seen an increasing number of enquiries from people who have suffered scarring or disfigurement as a result of cosmetic procedures, particularly laser hair removal which has led to burns.

“It has been very difficult for Rebecca to come to terms with what happened as she had previously had laser hair removal at another clinic which had been successful. The black ink used to mark the areas of her body where the treatment was needed was the problem in this case and should not have been treated. She has now been left with significant scarring on her legs, inner thighs and bikini line which has been very painful and distressing for her.

“The Department of Health has carried out reviews in the regulation of laser and Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) hair removal in previous years. We now hope that action is taken to put in place strict regulations for this type of treatment to prevent any other serious injuries like the burns Rebecca suffered.”
Sally Rissbrook, Partner

Rebecca, who works as a Sales Manager, said: “By the evening my legs felt like they were on fire and the itching was unbearable. It was absolutely horrendous – nothing I did could take the pain away and the inflamed red marks looked terrible.

“I complained to the clinic during the treatment and again after I arrived home about the pain and inflamed marks on all the treated areas. They simply advised me to apply an ice pack and wait for it to ease off.

“I also went to A&E that evening, a burns clinic the following day and my GP a few days later as  I was so concerned about the burns as they were not settling and seemed to be getting worse. I was worried about scarring.

“I did make an appointment with a Dermatologist on Harley Street at my own cost a week later as the Marlow Beauty Clinic refused to help. I was advised I should have been seen sooner and that once the scabs had fallen off, a silicone gel should be applied to the affected areas.

“I have got permanent marks on my legs that make me very self-conscious and I don’t like wearing skirts or bikinis anymore. I had the treatment to feel more attractive, not less. I regret booking the appointment with the clinic in the first place now and I hope they have learnt from this. I hope steps are taken to make sure the whole beauty 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 my scars are proof that this is not always the case and people need to be aware of the dangers that can come with laser hair removal treatment if it is not carried out correctly.”

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