laser hair removal burn

When to Contact an Attorney for a Laser Hair Removal Burn

laser hair removal burn

When done properly, laser hair removal is an effective way to get rid of unwanted hair for a longer period than other methods, such as shaving or waxing. However, lasers are powerful. If not used correctly, or if the person using them is not properly trained, lasers can cause serious and permanent damage.

You should always check into the background of the person carrying out your laser hair removal, and it is best to have the procedure done by a licensed dermatologist. Unfortunately, no matter who you see for your treatment, mistakes can happen, and if you suffer from a burn caused by a laser hair removal treatment, it is time to contact a personal injury attorney.

How Laser Hair Removal Works

During laser hair removal treatments, a doctor or technician uses a laser to vaporize unwanted hair. Throughout the treatment, you will see small plumes of smoke rising from your skin. The smoke smells like sulfur.

The technician will focus on a small area and should cleanse that area before starting treatment. Often, a numbing gel is put on the area to help reduce discomfort. Then, your doctor or technician will pull the skin in the area taut and focus the laser on the wanted hair. According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association (AAD), patients say the laser pulses feel “like warm pinpricks or a rubber band being snapped against the skin.”

Treatments can take from a few minutes to more than an hour, depending on the size of the area undergoing hair removal. Results are typically immediate, and clients often see a 10 to 25 percent reduction in hair after the first treatment. Most patients will need between two and six treatments to see total removal.

Risks of Laser Hair Removal Treatments

You can expect side effects following a laser hair removal treatment, but there is a difference between side effects and injuries.

Most side effects last from one to three days and are pretty minor. They may include discomfort at the treatment site and some swelling and redness that looks and feels like a minor sunburn and is helped with the application of a cold compress.

It is important that you follow your doctor or technician’s instructions after treatment to avoid making side effects worse. For example, the AAD urges clients to keep the affected area out of direct sunlight and avoid using indoor tanning equipment.

More serious side effects can actually be injuries, and if you experience them, you should contact the personal injury team at Curtis Legal Group.

Laser hair removal injuries can include:

  • Blisters and burns
  • Cold sore outbreaks
  • Infections
  • Scarring
  • Changes in skin color beyond temporary redness

Causes of Laser Hair Removal Burns

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) says “burns, scarring, dyspigmentation, ocular injury, and infection can occur due to almost any type of laser therapy” and for a variety of reasons.

Burns happen when tissue is overheated “through excessive heat generation or insufficient cooling,” and there are ways to reduce burn incidents. With laser hair removal, a common technique involves testing laser settings on a small area of skin two or three weeks before the main treatment and using more conservative laser settings.

During procedures, technicians and doctors need to be aware of “graying” tissue. Such discoloration indicates burning, and the treatment must be stopped and the laser and cooling settings reevaluated. Though many laser instruments have safety measures to stop them from emitting too much power, these measures can malfunction. Or, inferior machines can lack them altogether, and inferior technicians can miss warning signals.

Serious pain, more than at prior treatments, is also an indication of burning, and if there is “overlap” in treatment zones, the overlapping areas can be more apt to burn.

Long-Term Consequences

Of course, burns cause immediate pain. But that is not the only damage they bring. According to the NIH, laser burns can cause prolonged reddening of the skin (erythema), ulcerations – or infected, open wounds, and even tissue necrosis, which is the death of body tissue. Burns can also leave permanent scars and cause disfigurement.

Get Compensated for Burns Caused by Laser Hair Removal Treatment

For your own health and safety and for the strength of your potential laser hair removal burn personal injury claim, seek prompt medical attention after experiencing a laser hair removal burn or other injury. Medical attention will prevent your condition from worsening, and the documented diagnosis and proof of care will prevent the negligent party from claiming your injury only got worse because you did not get immediate treatment.

A successful outcome, a substantial personal settlement or trial verdict, is more likely if you have experienced legal representation. Your personal injury lawyer will:

  • Investigate your situation thoroughly. This includes investigating the history and safety practices of the facility where you were treated, and the background and credentials of the person providing the treatment.
  • Determine the cause of the burn. Sometimes, a doctor or technician’s negligence or lack of training causes the injury. Other times, a laser device malfunction may be the cause. Whatever the case, your personal injury lawyer will find the reason and hold the at fault party or parties accountable.
  • File your claim within California’s two-year statute of limitations
  • Prepare and submit comprehensive evidence and other required documentation
  • Calculate a fair settlement demand to cover your losses
  • Negotiate with the at fault party’s representatives to ensure your fair treatment
  • Represent you at trial if you your case goes to court

Laser hair removal cases can get complicated, especially if your treatment occurred at a spa where technicians work as independent contractors rather than employees. In those cases, the spas, and their insurance coverage, do not assume legal responsibility for the negligence of independent contractors. That said, just because a spa calls its technicians independent contractors does not mean that is their legal standing. Your laser hair removal burn injury lawyer will look into the spa-technician relationship to determine if the spa can be held legally responsible.

Our “Heavy Hitters” Will Fight for Justice

You deserve compensation for the medical costs, scarring, pain, emotional distress, and all other losses caused by a laser hair removal burn. Doctors and technicians owe it to their clients to operate their equipment knowledgeably and safely. When their failures cause you damage, they have to pay. After sustaining a burn injury or other damage from a laser hair removal treatment, connect with a personal injury lawyer from Curtis Legal Group. We will handle your case with great care to get you the justice and financial settlement you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn more about your legal rights.