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Doctors warn of 'cowboy clinics'

6th May 2008

The British Association of Cosmetic Doctors (BACD) has warned that "cowboy clinics" which use lasers for cosmetic treatment pose a risk to patient safety.

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The BACD says that increased controls of the cosmetic industry are necessary in order to ensure public safety.

However, the Department of Health has not acknowledged that there is a problem and the government has put forward a proposal which means laser use in cosmetic clinics will not be regulated.

The new proposals will allow cosmetic clinics which provide laser treatments to operate without needing to register with the Healthcare Commission. The clinics will also not be regularly inspected.

There are thought to be more than 800 salons in England which offer laser treatments. The laser is used to remove body and facial hair, smoothe wrinkles and to help erase tattoos.

Intense pulsed light (IPL) lasers can be used to remove hair but can cause burns if used incorrectly.

Douglas McGeorge, the president of BAAPS, said: "In an environment where clinicians are asking for tighter regulations it is absurd that politicians, who know very little about the limitations and complications of such treatments, should seek to further deregulate."

A spokesman for the Department of Health said the govenment's aim said that people having laser treatment were doing so by paying for it privately and added: "A balance will always have to be struck between the risk presented by a particular non-surgical cosmetic treatment and the cost to the publicly funded regulatory body."

 

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