Microdermabrasion has grown to become one of the most popular non-invasive cosmetic procedures at UK salons and clinics. Also known as a 'lunchtime facial', microdermabrasion is a fast, painless and effective treatment which leaves the skin looking fresh and glowing with health. Hundreds of thousands of British women undergo microdermabrasion treatments every year, and there is normally very little risk attached. However, in a minority of cases injuries can be caused by microdermabrasion treatments, and there are a number of risks which salons need to be aware of and take measures to avoid.
Microdermabrasion is a delicate procedure that requires considerable skill to perform competently and safely. If the application device is improperly handled or used at too high a setting, the microcrystals may penetrate the skin or break capillaries. A beauty technician may be too slow in moving the 'blaster' across the face, or else a person's skin may not be in a suitable condition for the treatment in the first place. When microdermabrasion is incompetently performed in facial areas the results can be both painful and distressing.
Poor handling of dermabrasion devices may also cause hyperpigmentation - the appearance of patches of lighter or darker skin, which may be either a temporary or permanent condition. Clients must be offered protective eyewear during microdermabrasion treatments, as it is otherwise possible that crystals will become lodged in the eyes. Salons and clinics must also ensure that the applicator and vacuum used is disinfected and sanitised between treatments to minimise the risk of infections being transmitted.
Beauty technicians must assess individual patients properly and offer them the best advice. Microdermabrasion is not suitable for teenagers, pregnant women or those who are breast-feeding. There are a number of other contraindications which make microdermabrasion unsuitable, including severe acne, eczema, dermatitis, diabetes and keratosis. An effective medical consultation will identify these issues, while advice should also be given regarding post-treatment care.
Microneedling is a quick, painless and convenient procedure that usually targets improvements to the facial appearance, although it can be performed all over the body. Microneedling is minimally invasive, using a pen-shaped device with hundreds of thin needles to penetrate the top layer of skin and boost collagen to improve the appearance of skin concerns like scars, wrinkles and stretch marks.
While microneedling is considered safe for most people who are in overall good health, there is still a risk of skin damage if the microneedling device is used incorrectly or the treatment is unsuitable for an individual due to pre-existing medical issues such as active acne, eczema or psoriasis. Side effects include swelling, redness, itching and peeling which will normally only last for a few days.
During a derma roller treatment, the skin on the face is penetrated by microneedles attached to a roller in a process aimed at stimulating collagen production and improving a person’s complexion. This popular procedure is generally safe as long as beauty salons observe basic hygiene and safety standards, particularly by ensuring that microneedles and rollers are properly sterilised prior to use, and that skin patch tests are carried out on new clients.
Derma rollers which are not properly disinfected and sterilised may transmit bacteria and diseases from one client to another causing infections, skin problems and illnesses. While most beauty salons will have proper processes for sterilising equipment, unscrupulous or simply negligent practitioners may use an unsterilised roller on a client, leaving the latter at risk of infection, illness and long-term skin damage.
Allergic reactions to either the anaesthetic used on the skin or the roller’s microneedles are another possibility, and a skin patch test should be conducted 48 hours before a procedure to check for the possibility of an adverse reaction. Poor technique may cause skin damage, marks and scarring, and beauty therapists are expected to show an acceptable level of competence when performing a derma roller treatment. Blunt microneedles and poor quality rollers may also cause unacceptable injuries.
Dermaplaning (also called microplaning or blading) is a generally safe beauty procedure when carried out by a certified dermatologist, and is popular due to its convenience, instant effects and lack of recovery downtime. Dermaplaning is not risk free however, and although rare, potential complications including infections and scarring can have a long-term impact. Much depends on the qualifications, skill and experience of the practitioner carrying out the treatment, as well as the pre-treatment and aftercare that a customer receives.
Common short-term dermaplaning side effects are breakouts of bumps on the skin, discolouration and redness which will normally only last a day or two. More serious side effects may affect people with pre-existing skin conditions including rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, active acne and cold sores. The risk is that dermaplaning can cause inflammation or an infection, with the possibility of scarring or hypopigmentation (patches of lighter skin), both of which may result in partial disfigurement with profound emotional consequences. A detailed medical consultation and patch test are therefore essential to evaluate an individual’s skin type and check for hypersensitivity and allergies.
If you have been injured by a microdermabrasion, microneedling, derma roller or dermaplaning treatment at a beauty salon or cosmetic clinic, contact our female lawyers today for free, confidential advice. Our experience in beauty and cosmetic treatments injury claims means that you will have the best possible representation when it comes to negotiating a compensation settlement.