Cosmetic laser treatment rules changeNon-surgical cosmetic laser users may be at risk

29 August 2010

Laser treatment

If a non-surgical laser – used to remove unwanted hair and treat wrinkles - is used incorrectly, it can cause burns and scarring. However, the government is to deregulate treatments in England from 1 October, with no substitute monitoring scheme yet in place.

By contrast, Scotland is consulting on future regulations and Wales and Northern Ireland both regulate laser and Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatments.

What the future holds

Worryingly, we’ve already spotted a company advertising laser machines to salons stating: ‘from the 1 October you can offer IPL treatments without the red tape of regulation!’.

Only certain treatments, including those involving surgery, will still be regulated. Confused consumers could find themselves having both regulated and unregulated treatments at the same establishment.

Alternative scheme proposed

The Independent Healthcare Advisory Services has started work on a scheme with the industry, which includes a register of accredited providers. We want a suitable regime in place to ensure consumers are protected. See our website for more on cosmetic treatments including choosing a good clinic and the risks of cosmetic treatment. We'll be updating as more information about the proposed alternative scheme becomes available.

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