Health Ministry warns against defective laser hair-removal machines

Use of such devices may be dangerous and could, in rare circumstances, cause electrocution or burns on patients’ skin, says ministry.

January 13, 2014 23:15
1 minute read.
Laser hair

Laser hair removal. (photo credit: Reuters)


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The Health Ministry warned the public not to purchase and use depilatory (hair removal) devices using Intense Pulse Light (IPL) Technology. The ministry said on Monday that the use of such devices may be dangerous and could, in rare circumstances, cause electrocution or burns on the patients’ skin.

In laser hair removal, pulses of light destroy hair follicles.

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The devices are defective and have not been approved by the ministry. They are sold by “unauthorized dealers” as “renewed or rehabilitated” equipment under brand names such as Alma Lasers and Luminis, the ministry said. In fact, they were “repaired” by people who are not authorized technicians, and not according to manufacturers’ instructions, the ministry said, adding that “as a result, the devices lose their proper functioning, and the ministry’s previous authorization to sell them is discontinued.”

Some of the devices have been found in cosmeticians’ salons in Tel Aviv and Ramat Gan and among merchants in the Afula region and the north, the ministry concluded.

Customers, cosmeticians and owners of cosmeticians’ clinics are asked to make sure that IPL devices and other laser depilatory equipment are in good shape and meet the registration requirements of the ministry, it said.

According to a recent article in The New York Times “laser hair-removal procedures have become immensely popular in recent years. Nearly half a million such treatments were performed [in the US] by dermatologic surgeons in 2011, the last year for which figures are available, according to the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery. But an unknown number of procedures are performed each year by non-physicians, who may have minimal training. Some cosmeticians and other non-physicians may also confuse sunspots for melanoma, a kind of skin cancer,” the paper said.

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