Laser hair removal: No training required?

Apr 12, 2010

Canada needs minimum training standards for laser hair removal operators, as currently anyone, trained or not, can legally operate a laser machine for hair removal in Canada, states an editorial in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

In Canada, no license is required to operate a laser hair removal machine and training is usually provided by the manufacturer. Only the machine itself is licensed by Health Canada.

"Although controlled trials of laser hair removal have shown that severe adverse effects are uncommon, there have been reports of burns, pigmentary changes, scarring, reactivation of viruses and even paradoxical hypertrichosis, the growth of unwanted hair," write Diane Kelsall, Deputy Editor, Clinical Practice, CMAJ and coauthors. "Eye complications have also occurred when the eyes have not been shielded adequately."

Health Canada recommends that anyone considering laser hair removal "be sure that the person who will operate the device has the training and experience needed to perform the procedure safely and effectively" and that the client should ask for references and check that the device is licensed. Without any specific knowledge about techniques and equipment for laser hair removal, the client is required to judge the fitness of the operator and the suitability of the machine.

"To allow untrained staff to operate laser devices with such potential for harm is unreasonable," conclude the authors. "Canadians should insist that Health Canada, our national regulator of medical devices, set minimum training standards for operators of lasers used for hair removal."

Explore further: AbbVie to pay Shire $1.64B fee over nixed merger

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

No more dithering on e-health

Mar 01, 2010

Canada is lagging behind many countries in the use of electronic health records and it is critical that the country's medical and political leaders set targets for universal adoption, states an editorial in CMAJ.

Recommended for you

New MCAT shifts focus, will include humanities

3 hours ago

(HealthDay)—The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) has been revised, and the latest changes, including more humanities such as social sciences, are due to be implemented next April, according to a report ...

Using feminist theory to understand male rape

14 hours ago

Decades of feminist research have framed rape and sexual assault as a 'women's issue', leaving little room for the experiences of male victims. But a new study published in the Journal of Gender Studies suggests that feminist ...

Simulation-based training improves endoscopy execution

Oct 18, 2014

(HealthDay)—Simulation-based training (SBT) improves clinicians' performance of gastrointestinal endoscopy in both test settings and clinical practice, according to research published in the October issue ...

User comments : 0