Beauty Therapy Turns Ugly In NZ

Beauty therapy turns ugly in NZ!
Serious damage can occur if lasers are in the wrong hands!
Laser Hair Removal At The Bay & On Unley strongly believe the importance meeting the guidelines of the Australian/New Zealand Standards to ensure the strictest of safety regulations for our clients.  With our nurse only policy and medical grade lasers, we offer a safe and professional service for our valued clients.  Our LHR nurses are highly trained professionals who are qualified to assess your skin type and know what settings are best suited without damaging your skin.  In the article below, it points out what can go wrong when unqualified technicians operate medical grade equipment.
Charlotte Madden only wanted some unwanted eyebrow hair removed, but she came out of the beauty clinic in excruciating pain and partially blind.
Nearly two months later the Wellington woman said her vision is still blurred and she loses depth in natural light without sunglasses after her eyes were fried after a laser in a botched beauty treatment.
She is now waiting to find out if she has suffered irreversible damage to her sight.
“If the laser had been 2 millimetres lower I would be permanently blinded.” Madden said.
The case has prompted renewed calls of a clamp down on the unregulated but growing laser treatment industry.
But the clinic’s owner said they had followed the correct safety procedures in Madden’s treatment and had “no idea” how it could have gone wrong.
Madden said she went in for the first of four laser hair removal sessions at Avana Clinics in Wellington on August 15.  During the procedure the technician asked whether she wanted her eyebrows shaped as well and Madden agreed.
“She took my goggles off and it was done in three seconds but the pain was excruciating.  It felt like it had gone right through to the back of my eye socket.”
Afterwards, Madden’s vision was blurry and by the time she wandered outside she had lost sight entirely in half of her right eye.
Her sight gradually called Healthline, who asked her to describe Madden’s eyes.  “One of the pupils was completely oval and towards the right.”
Madden went to the Hutt Hospital emergency department the next morning and is now on a steroid treatment in an attempt to repair her eyes.  Her doctor said the damage, which could be permanent, was undoubtedly caused by the laser treatment.
Madden said she had received an apology from the clinic but was still waiting for them to refund the $2,000 she had paid for her four sessions and her subsequent medical expenses.
They did not appear to understand the seriousness of the accident, she said.  
“Someone could come in tomorrow and get the same treatment that did this damage.”
But Nitya Kanda, who manages and owns the Avana Wellington clinic, said she had only been made fully aware of Madden’s injuries in the last few days.
Madden had not complained about any pain at the time and Kanda said would have immediately stopped the treatment if she had.
It was the first time any customer had suffered any injury and while she did not deny Madden’s eyes had been damaged, she had “no idea” how it could have happened.
She said she had paid Madden’s refund on Thursday afternoon, a day after she was contacted by The Dominion Post, and no longer offered eyebrow treatments.
“We are doing the best we can to fix this thing.”
Kanda, who carried out Madden’s hair removal herself, confirmed she had used the laser around the eyebrow including a “tiny bit” below the eyebrow just millimetres from the eye socket, but did not “go hard” with the laser.
She had used a metal shield to protect Madden’s eyes.  Madden said her eyes had been unprotected at the time.
Other beauty therapists who spoke to the Dominion Post said they would never use the laser below the eyebrow and also used eye protection.
The Avana Clinic is not listed as a registered member of the New Zealand Beauty Therapists Association on its website but Kanda said she had received training and certification to use the laser machine from the manufacturers.
Dr Hans Raetz, President of the New Zealand Society of Cosmetic Medicine, said laser hair removal around the eyes was rate because it was so dangerous.  If undertaken, metal shields should be placed under the eyelids and the patient placed under general anaesthetic.  Not using these protections was “medically unacceptable”, he said.
Article by Ben Heather – The Dominion Post – 11/10/2014