Beauty industry

‘Horrified’ Yorkshire mum left unrecognizable in beauty salon treatment disaster

A mum who underwent laser treatment at a local beauty salon and ended up with burns to her face and hands now has to apply ‘camouflage makeup’ to hide the scars.

She made an appointment at the Yorkshire firm, which she had used before, for treatment to reduce the appearance of filiform veins. But she says it left her with ‘weepy, crusty burns’ and a face so swollen she didn’t recognize herself.

Three years later, she now lives with an inch-long scar on her face. The mum, who wishes to remain anonymous, says she wants to tell her story so others think twice about agreeing to cosmetic treatments in an industry she says is not properly regulated.

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The woman said she had had the same procedure several years earlier, which had been carried out at an NHS hospital by a consultant dermatologist and paid for privately.

“I saw that my local salon was advertising laser treatment on social media, and it was two or three times less than what I paid. So I thought about it and I made an appointment for a consultation. I had seen good results before and wore less makeup afterwards, so I wanted to do it again.

“I did some research, asked how qualified she was to use the equipment and was assured. I should have known better; I put my trust in them a bit too much. Really, the lasers should only be handled by experts, she said.

“Pain and Burning Smell”

When the woman returned for her 30-minute treatment in the summer of 2019, she was told she could expect pain, “like a rubber band snapping on my skin,” she recalled.

She said she felt “uncomfortable” but thought it was normal because the salon had warned her of this. No patch testing was done and it was painful, I’m pretty tough and it really hurts,” she said.

The woman says that in addition to the pain there was a burning smell but the laser treatment was not discontinued.

“I got home and within hours my hands and face were covered in blisters, my eyes were puffy, my face was swollen, I didn’t look like myself. When I looked in the mirror I was horrified, I thought, what have I done?

The woman, who has a background in healthcare, knew she had to keep her skin cool and used cold compresses, “but the next day I was shocked. The blisters and scabs were crying. I looked awful and didn’t want to be seen in public,” she said.

Her GP confirmed that she had suffered burns and may retain permanent scarring. She says it took up to three weeks for the scabs to heal and she also felt a loss of sensation in her face.

She says she decided to take legal action because her GP suggested it could prevent the injury from happening to others.

Obtained £26,000 in out-of-court settlement

The woman contacted Hudgell Solicitors after speaking to other firms, “but they weren’t interested because they told me it was a minor claim, but it wasn’t as minor as they told me. led people to believe,” she said.

In an out-of-court settlement, she was awarded £26,000 in damages after the salon admitted liability.

Huddell Solicitors personal injury lawyer Mobeena Salim, who represented the woman, said: “My client has made an appointment at her local salon for treatment which she says will make her look better and to feel better and she was assured that the staff were well trained and the treatment was safe.

“But that wasn’t the case. She left this salon with burns; the injury has had a profound effect on her well-being and how she sees herself. A facial scar can have debilitating consequences for anyone, and now she has to use camouflage makeup to hide it.

“None of this was her fault. The salon has their liability insurance in place in case something goes wrong and it is absolutely correct that when a customer is injured or suffers harm as a result of a treatment, it is fully compensated and, above all, that it is recognized that the salon is at fault.”

Hudgells claimed that the beauty salon used or authorized the use of faulty and unsafe machines, failed to institute or enforce an adequate system of quality control, or inspect, check or test the machine. He also did not warn of the risks of an adverse reaction to the procedure and did not perform a patch test.

“I wouldn’t normally go this route,” the woman said. “I felt guilty at first because I hadn’t lost a leg or anything, but it had a big effect on my self-image and I thought if I had done something something like that, hurt another person, I would have been horrified.

“In the long term I have to live with this facial scar, I can’t hide it easily, it’s very visible and it affected me mentally and socially.

“The legal process was simple, you are guided by experts like Mobeena who absolutely kept me informed every step of the way,” she said.

The woman thinks the beauty industry should be better regulated.

“An NVQ qualification is not suitable if you use a laser, people need to be properly trained and businesses need to be inspected and regulated. The situation is that medical professionals who use them need to be registered, but beauticians do not.”

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