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American researchers warn of the growing number of injuries caused by hair removal procedures

Posted: 20/09/2016

Researchers at the University of Birmingham in Alabama have warned of the risks related to hair removal treatment after data collated between 1991 and 2014 from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance system revealed that the number of people admitted to hospital with injuries following these procedures increased more than nine times over the course of the study. 

The study, published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, recommends that “Overall, individuals should practise safe and acceptable usage of hair removal products to reduce the risk of injury.” In recent years, they have seen a rapid increase in the number of young people incurring injuries. In 2011, the highest incidence of injuries was in those aged 19 to 34, whereas in the past these injuries were seen more commonly in people aged 65 and older.

Elise Bevan, a member of the clinical negligence team at Penningtons Manches, said: “The increase in injuries correlates to the increase in popularity of cosmetic procedures such as the bikini wax and laser hair removal. Clinics offering this type of treatment still owe a clear duty of care to their patients, but people are often not told about the risks before undergoing such procedures.

“Laser treatment, in particular, can lead to burning and scarring if inadequately performed and people should be clearly aware of such possible outcomes before undertaking the surgery. They should also ensure that the clinic is fully equipped for the procedure before going ahead.”

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