Thursday, April 7, 2011

Are Laser Hair Removal Centers Medical Practices???

There have been waves of laser hair removal centers since the first FDA cleared laser was introduced for permanent reduction of hair (1995).  Centers open and close with regularity. It is difficult to maintain a profitable business if it is solely a laser hair removal business.

Eventually, those that open the laser hair removal centers realize this and expand their product and service. Frequently, this is not legally supportable.

The long and short of the situation is that hair removal is not considered to be the practice of medicine.  There are dozens of therapies to remove hair dating back to the ancient Egyptians. Sugaring, waxing, electrolysis, needle free electrolysis, chemical de-epilation are all effective but none are permanent.  The only permanent treatment is laser.

Their are several types of laser for hair removal and a center should have at least three in order to treat the most patients in the most effective way.  This is because of different skin type (color), different hair color and the location of the body.  So, it is not as easy as leasing a laser and opening a location.

Even though laser hair removal is not a medical procedure, the devices are MEDICAL devices. It is unlawful for non-physicians to own or operate the lasers because they are medical devices.  you would never know this if you attend a spa expo and see the laser companies falling over themselves to sell a laser to a non-physician. As I have been known to say, any laser company would sell a laser to my dog Stoli if he could pony up the money!! The laser companies invariably claim to have a letter from a "guy" that indicates that it is acceptable to sell a medical device to a non-physician.

there are some light based devices that are a lower class of ,medical device that can be utilized and owned by non-physicians. These are non effective and low power.

Non physicians can own and operate laser hair removal centers, but care must be made in the formation and implementation of the business plan. As with everything, there is a right way and a wrong way...but the penalties for doing it the wrong way can lead to substantial fines and penalties and loss of professional license (cosmetologist, nursing etc).

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