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De-regulation of IPL and Laser Equipment for Tattoo Removal


In October 2010, despite pleas from within the industry, The Government deregulated the use of laser equipment.


Before this, practitioners had to register with the governing body the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and follow strict guidelines, but now anyone can buy a laser for cosmetic use.


"It is absurd that politicians, who know very little about the limitations and complications of such treatments, should seek to further deregulate"


Douglas McGeorge



Since then laser treatments have been popping up all over the country in tattoo studios, beauty salons, hair salons and other similar establishments.


Alongside 3rd degree burns there can be permanent pigmentation changes and eye problems. If safety goggles aren't worn correctly the client may suffer retinal damage and blindness.


To understand just how dangerous these medical devices can be in the wrong hands, it is important to explain how they work.



  • A laser is a single-wavelength (one colour of light) source of energy which can be focused to transmit light and heat on to a precise area.


  • This heat can be used to selectively destroy body tissue.


  • Different laser wavelengths target different skin issues, and administering the right laser type is a highly specialised process.


  • The wavelength determines exactly what's being heated up.


  • There is a wavelength that will target thread veins.


  • There is a different wavelength which is used for hair removal.


  • Another will help leg veins, and the highest wavelengths turn the top layers of skin to vapour.


  • You simply cannot swap one for the other or you will cause untold damage.





A cynical point of view is that the deregulation is financially inspired as de-regulation allows more VAT to be raised.


It costs the Government to enforce legislation and it has been worked out that despite the cost resulting from rising numbers of patients with burns from poor use of lasers needing treatment, the NHS would still save money through deregulation.



The Department of Health insists that non-surgical cosmetic lasers carry low levels of risk. And yet, The number of clients who need to visit A&E  after a treatment with an untrained operator is rising!


The comment from their senior enforcement manager last November was a stern warning: 'Lasers can cause harm if they are not used properly.


Is the treatment at scottish laser safe?


Here at scottish laser, Nicola has almost a decade of experience and acknoweldges the view that IPL, when used by an inexperienced person, can cause problems (e.g. permanent pigmentation changes).


Despite the deregulation Nicola is proud to confirm that she still operates the business under the full compliance of the rules prior to this change!


"I would never consider the risk of compromising my clients health and safety, let alone my business name!  Around 90% of my new clients come to me on referral from a family member or friend who has recommended me to them. There is no greater feeling than knowing that my clients are so happy with the outcome of their treatments that they'd be happy to pass on my details to their loved ones!"


Nicola recommends practitioners who have a wide range of lasers and also clinics with good examples to show of patients before and after therapy so that you can see their work. "If a clinic has only one laser it is likely that it is an add on to an already existing business, Laser specialists often run multiple lasers and are much more likely to be more dedicated to lasers as their first line of work therefore they normally have more experience!"


Always check it out first, make sure you get a free consulation and try to always go on referral from someone you know who has had treatment.