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Woman left with burns after laser hair removal

9News.com.au logo 9News.com.au 21/10/2019 9News Staff

WARNING: This story contains graphic content that some readers may find upsetting.

A Melbourne woman has been left burnt, blistered and close to a $1,000 out of pocket after laser hair removal went horribly wrong.

Primary school teacher Sara Neep, 34, was excited for her second laser session but now she says she can't be certain her legs won't be permanently scarred.

"I started losing feeling in my legs and my feet," Ms Neep said.

a person posing for the camera: Primary school teacher Sara Neep, 34, was left with burns after laser hair removal. © 9News Primary school teacher Sara Neep, 34, was left with burns after laser hair removal.

"I'm a little bit terrified to let anyone ever touch my skin again."

Hours after suffering the reaction, Ms Neep contacted The Skin Boutique in Elwood and was told it was a normal reaction. However, a second opinion from a dermatologist told another story.

"She said this is definitely a burn - and she said I definitely wouldn't be going back," Ms Neep said.

After five weeks of medication and cortisone cream Ms Neep's legs are on the mend. However, she must keep them covered for the next three months.

Ms Neep has requested a refund and compensation for medical costs.

"I filled out a form, but they didn't sit down with me with the form and even read through it," Ms Neep said.

In a statement to 9News, the salon said Ms Neep was warned of possible complications and signed a written consent and that all reasonable care was under taken by the salon and its staff.

Medical experts have warned consumers need to understand the risks of the service.

Twenty-six concerned Victorians made reports to the Health Complaints Commissioner about their laser treatment last year.

a man wearing a suit and tie: Dermatologist Dr Adam Sheridan said people need to be aware of the risks. © 9News Dermatologist Dr Adam Sheridan said people need to be aware of the risks.

"It's available in the high street, in shopping centres," Dr Adam Sheridan, a dermatologist, told 9News.

"It's around us so perhaps we don't question it in the same way we would a medical procedure."

People looking to undergo laser treatment are urged to research their provider and their relevant qualifications - as well ask what device will be used.

Customers are also advised to look at the suitability of the service, ensuring it matches their hair and skin type.

"At the time of receiving or requesting treatment, you should accept in your own mind that a side effect is possible - and you should have knowledge of what those side effects are," Dr Adams said.

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