In response to a disturbing increase in patient complications due to cosmetic procedures at spas, salons and "walk-in" clinics performed by non-physicians, such as cosmetic nurse specialists, estheticians and LPNs, the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS) cautions consumers to beware. To help patients avoid infections, scarring and pigmentation disorders, ASDS offers the following tips:
If a procedure is not being performed by a physician, make sure that the supervising physician is physically present on-site, immediately available and able to respond promptly to any questions or problems that may occur while the procedure is being performed.
How many times has this person performed the procedure? Is the person, board-certified, licensed or otherwise qualified in cosmetic skin surgery? Has the procedure been performed on the part of the body on which you are having it done? Are there before and after pictures you can look at? Can you speak to someone who has had the procedure? Are there any side effects and, if so, what should you look for, and when should you be concerned?
Before undergoing laser or light-source hair removal or any skin rejuvenation procedure involving a laser or light-source, be sure to ask if the laser system is appropriate for your skin type, hair color, complexion and body area.
If you have sensitive skin or are unsure about a specific procedure, ask for a test patch. It’s far easier to treat a complication on a small patch of skin than a large area.
If you experience pain, discomfort, or discoloration after a procedure, call your physician immediately.