Laser Hair Removal Burns

Laser Burns Overview

Society has seriously fallen out of love with body hair in recent years, and now there’s an appetite to banish body hair for good. Whether it’s leg, underarm or lip hair, many people are turning to laser hair removal as a method.

However, although laser hair removal has the potential to make life much more convenient and eradicate the constant cycle of depilation, there are potential hazards. In particular, laser hair removal carries the risk of burns occurring.

Here’s a closer look at laser hair removal burns including why they’re occurring more frequently and an overview of claiming compensation.

Understanding the basics of laser hair removal

Laser Hair Removal Burns
Laser Hair Removal Burns

Laser hair removal can’t offer permanent obliteration of the dreaded hairs but it can keep the area smooth and fuzz-free for many months. It’s a cosmetic process carried out by beauticians that involves a type of laser known as IPL (intense pulsed light).

The treatment can potentially be used on anyone of either sex, but tends to be more successful on lighter skin combined with darker hair. It involves the use of shockwaves to achieve photomechanical destruction, localised heating for photothermal destruction and free radicals/singlet oxygen for photochemical destruction. This three-pronged mechanism is delivered through the use of a laser which is accompanied by a simultaneous cooling of the skin to prevent discomfort.

This means that while laser hair removal is taking place, a burning sensation should not be felt. This can signify that damage is occurring and your skin is being burnt. It’s not uncommon to feel a warmth in the skin area for 24 hours following the treatment, but this should not be excessive nor pronounced.

Why are the number of cases of laser hair removal burns increasing?

It’s important to point out that when used correctly, laser hair removal is a safe process which doesn’t carry undue risk. However, it’s essential that a proper pre-treatment assessment is carried out and there are no guarantees that there won’t be some side-effects. Like any type of treatment, there is the possibility that even with a fully-competent application, there may be an adverse reaction.

The number of cases of laser hair removal burns is increasing, and the reasons for this are manifold.

While in the past laser hair removal treatment was prohibitively expensive, the evolution of technology mean that it’s now more widely offered and at a lower cost. This is allowing more people to undergo the treatment.

It’s not just the sheer volume of treatments which is causing the number of burns to increase; this is primarily due to poor quality laser treatment administered by poorly-trained personnel. Laser hair removal should never be attempted by anyone who hasn’t got a thorough understanding of both dermatology, and the type of machine they’re using.

Laser hair removal burns cases have hit the headlines in recent years, with many dermatologists calling for the regulation of those who provide IPL treatments. The government conducted an enquiry but the end result was the requirement for anyone providing medical treatment via IPL to be registered with the Care Quality Commission.

Claiming compensation

You may be uncomfortable with the idea of claiming compensation but if you’ve suffered from burns due to laser hair removal you may be entitled to receive financial recompense. The amount you’ll receive will depend on the depth and size of the burns. The position of the burns may also be a factor.

Everyone is entitled to a duty of care when the treatment is being carried out and if you were failed in any aspect, compensation will be due. The amount you could receive varies significantly but using a laser burn compensation calculator tool, a single scar or superficial scarring could warrant a payment of £1500-£2000 while severe facial scarring which has caused psychological distress could lead to a payout of anything from £50,000-£75,000.

In order to receive compensation, you will need to be able to demonstrate that the technician was negligent or deficient in some way. This can be very difficult to prove; the physical presence of a burn is not sufficient to demonstrate a failing. There are lawyers who specialise in laser burns claims and can advise you of the likelihood of succeeding with a claim, and the process. Specialist dermatology experts will be enlisted to carry out assessments and to help gain the evidence required to make a case.


No-one wants to be scarred or left disfigured as a result of a cosmetic process. While there is always a slight risk, there are many steps you can take to prevent the likelihood of suffering burns from laser hair removal.

You can help the process by shaving your hair before you attend for treatment. This may seem counter-intuitive but the laser can make the hair hot, causing heat to travel down the shaft and burn the skin below the surface. Make sure your skin is free of cream, wax, fake tan or any other products. Your skin should also not be sun-damaged or irritated in any way.

Although aestheticians offering laser hair removal aren’t required to register with the Care Quality Commission (CQC), some councils ask for practitioners in their area to register with them. While this won’t provide the same assurances as a CQC licence, this provides some indication that the clinic is legitimate and above board. You should therefore not consider treatment from any aesthetician who is unregistered. Some practitioners will be registered with the CQC, even though it’s not compulsory; it is strongly preferable to have treatment at one of these clinics.

Before the treatment a thorough medical history should be taken, and an assessment carried out, including a patch test. Not every type of laser treatment is suitable for all skins, so if your aesthetician doesn’t take the time to carry out a detailed assessment, don’t proceed with the hair removal.

For more information on laser hair removal including treatment and symptoms you can visit this link contains the latest information including tips on recovery from laser scar burns and also were to find the best treatment.

Also the NHS website has useful information on laser burns they are becoming very common in beauty salons and a lot of patients are complaining about the burns.