Did you know that unless your treatment provider is a licensed medical professional, practically no regulations exist that are guiding who can buy and use a laser?
Even knowing that a laser skin device can cause life changing injuries in the wrong hands, some manufacturers and their sales reps (who shall remain un-named by us at least) behave unethically driven simply by selling lasers to whoever will buy them, without the knowledge, experience or background in skincare treatments that can have produced life altering effects in the wrong hands.
There are no rules regarding a minimum level of training, experience or medical supervision for laser practitioners. ZERO!!
Source – CBC Nov 2019 Quotes – “A lack of mandatory training in the beauty industry is putting clients at risk of permanent injuries, a problem some industry professionals say will continue until the provincial government imposes more regulation.”
Until 2003, anyone practising beauty services like hair styling, esthetics or nail art in B.C. had to pass an exam to be certified under the Cosmetologists Act, ensuring service providers had a minimum level of training.
That act was repealed in 2003, leaving the industry unregulated.
Hence why we are seeing more and more so called beauty and Day Spa’s suddenly offering Laser services. What they do, and how they do it in our opinion needs immediate regulation by the Government.
One only has to look, and one will find articles describing injuries from unqualified providers. Dr. Lisa Kellett a dermatologist from Toronto treats at least two clients a week with injuries from laser hair removal says “it’s “frustrating” to see clients suffering due to a lack of regulation in the Canadian beauty industry.” you can read the full article on CBC here
Dr. Kellett stated that “she sees “tons” of patients — about 200 a year — with the type of burns and scars recently experienced by a British Columbia woman who underwent laser hair removal.” See pictures below
Lasers are designed to cause injury
Lasers are designed to cause injuries to the skin. Physicians know and understand this and prepare intensely to mitigate the risks associated with laser aesthetics. We are targeting very specific areas / depths of the skin to achieve the outcome the patient desires.
You see, we are intentionally injuring patients. The micro injuries we cause, are incredibly precise and controlled. Mitigated by numerous double blind safety protocols.
The extent of the injury depends on the type of treatment, be it a laser facial such as Clear Silk or the slightly older Laser Genesis, laser hair removal such as Forever Bare or or a more in depth treatment skin resurfacing like Halo . The risks remain constant, and are mitigated by professionalism, expertise, experience and supervision.
'I felt like it was on fire': Woman burned by laser hair removal warning others to do their research
You can read the full article here about Yvonne Osei
When Osei went in for her laser hair removal appointment, she quickly realized something was wrong.
“I’d never felt a pain like that.”
Osei said the esthetician assured her what she was feeling was normal. THIS IS NOT NORMAL. Training and safety procedures would have removed that risk immediately. Sadly, what Osei experienced immediately afterward, was that her chin was “burning,” she said.
“I felt like it was on fire.” She had blisters and suffered second degree burns. Photos Osei took of her burned skin as it healed show scarring around her neck and chin.
Toronto dermatologist Dr. Sonya Cook, also commented that she sees at least one or two patients a week who have run into issues with laser procedures.
Osei’s skin will have long term pigment change and possibly even permanent scarring.
What to Ask your provider?
Here is our promise to our patients.
Every patient receives a complimentary minimum 1-hour medical consultation and every patient receives a complimentary skin analysis, before and after treatment. Every patients treatment plan is supervised by a Medical Doctor, and we only use the most advanced laser systems that are only available to Medical Doctors.
Our skin analysis is not left to the human eye, experienced as it may be, our skin consults consist of using our Visia Medical Imaging System that can see both what the naked eye can see, and what it cannot. It truly helps us to determine the extent of various skin conditions, and to compose an effective treatment plan on a case by case basis.
At Whistler Medical Aesthetics we take our training, qualifications and experience extremely seriously. We know, and we see the aftermath of poorly executed treatments by inexperienced users. At our clinic, every laser practitioner is a fully qualified Physician, and that physician supervises the other users who are Registered Nurses (with extensive clinical expertise) and our lead Laser Technician is a Graduate of Dermal Studies, specializing in lasers with many years of experience.
At Whistler Medical Aesthetics, and at reputable medical clinics, the amount and type of injury is carefully planned during a medical consult, and implemented by a highly trained and qualified laser specialist; who is commonly a Doctor, Registered Nurse or suitably qualified Dermal Studies Graduate. Despite their Medical Qualifications, our staff still attended a weeks long course specifically on our laser system with recognized experts BEFORE it was used. They have undertaken additional studies, including certification with world renowned expert Professor John Hoopman. We train regularly with Sciton, Harvard and other experts in the industry, on a monthly and sometimes weekly basis. Our practitioners have a combined fifty years of medical experience.
You are investing time and money in you, your face and/or your skin. We want, no, we need you to understand what we are doing, how we will do it, how we are planning, and what will happen during and after treatment so that you get the full benefit of our experience and expertise in a safe environment.
CREDENTIAL your provider AND the assigned practitioner BEFORE you AGREE to treatment.
Questions like these will help you to determine if your provider has the suitable expertise and experience to not only provide an effective treatment but to KEEP YOU SAFE.
- How long have you been using this laser system?
- What other lasers have you used?
- What (medical) qualifications do you have?
- What training have you personally had?
- What did that training entail i.e How many weeks, hours, days and with who.
- How often do you train?
Ask to see before and afters of THEIR patients, NOT googles.
- Ask why they are not taking multiple pictures of your skin at different angles (panic if they whip out a personal iPhone!!!)