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There was an article in Florida Trend last year concerning medical spa mishaps. The article reports that there has been a sudden increase in the number of mishaps at medical spas around the country. This should alert consumers to the potential dangers of undergoing a cosmetic procedure in one of these spas.

The article reports one particular incident in which a 24 year old woman in Palm Beach County who went in for her final session in a series of six treatments for laser hair removal suffered 300 second and third degree burns on her leg. Following this last treatment, her leg was bright red, swollen and eventually developed a dark brown and checkerboard pattern.

The article also states that:

the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery reports that its members have noted a 45% increase in the number of patients requesting treatment for complications such as burns, splotching, and irreversible pigmentation and scars from laser hair removal, chemical peels, microdermabrasion and other cosmetic procedures performed by cosmetologists, aestheticians, and others without adequate training or supervision.

The problem likely lies with the lack of adequate regulation. There is no official department that regulates medical spas. How can we ensure these procedures are being performed under the supervision of doctors, by a person with formal training, or by a person with any true experience. The article reports that several doctors affiliated with spas across the state have settled more than $2.1 million in malpractice claims (some cases involved burning patients with lasers.

The moral of the story is that if you are going to undergo a cosmetic procedure, make sure you first do your research. Make sure you are aware of the risks and potential problems or side effects involved with the particular type of procedure. It is probably a good idea to choose a licensed dermatologist or medical doctor over a technician in one of these spas. If you use a medical spa, obtain as much information as you can about the training, experience, and education of the person who will be performing your procedure. If the person who will perform your procedure is not a medical doctor, are they supervised by one? If you have all of the information you will be able to make an informed decision regarding who should perform your procedure as well as whether to go forward with the procedure at all.

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