Oct 24, 2019

Danger Behind the Laser: Who's Doing YOUR Procedure?

Many of us spend hours figuring out who would be the best person to cut our hair and do our nails. We ask friends, we search online, and we read reviews. We want it done right, and we want to look better, not worse! 

Then why, when it comes time to do something more serious, such as a laser procedure on our face, we may or may not put enough time, energy, or research into the process? This can, and has, led to disastrous results that are much more serious than a bad haircut. 

Who's Behind the Laser?

"I think some people spend more time figuring out who's going to cut their hair and where they're going to go to dinner than they do in terms of who's going to be using these very powerful laser devices on the face," says Dr. Matt Avram, a board-certified dermatologist. 

Avram is a world-renowned expert in Laser and Cosmetic Dermatology, at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. He says, "Anything that can be effective when used appropriately, can be damaging when used inappropriately. The thing that makes the difference is who's operating the laser."

In The News

Recently reported in the news, a young woman had a laser treatment in what was supposed to be a medical office, but when she arrived, it was a house. The so-called professional who called herself a "clinical dermal therapist" said her office was being renovated. Needless to say, when the procedure was finished, the patient walked out with second-degree burns from an erbium laser.

The lesson: don't be afraid to walk out if something doesn't look right or feel right. The patient said she didn't ask questions because she thought "the professional" surely knew what she was doing. This is where research and searching out board-certifications in the field of your interest becomes very important.

No Aesthetic Procedure is "Simple"

While it may seem like a minor procedure, it's not. People are misled because lasers are advertised as minimal pain and no downtime, and they think it's a "simple and easy" treatment.  Laser treatments have had major consequences for men and women across the country, ranging from burns and blisters to scarring. 

Avram says you should spend time researching for someone with a lot of experience, who has been doing these procedures for years, and someone who has expertise in the skin. "The gold standard in terms of treatments with these devices is a board-certified dermatologist," says Avram.