Nov. 24, 2004, 10:44PM
Hairy problem becomes ‘medical procedure’
Specialists cry foul when board says laser removal is a job for doctors
By POLLY ROSS HUGHES
Copyright 2004 Houston Chronicle Austin Bureau
Starting Wednesday, the Texas Board of Medical Examiners officially declares laser hair removal a “medical procedure” that must be supervised by a medical doctor.
Laser hair removal specialists, some practicing all seven years the technology has existed, are crying foul.
The new rules say laser hair removal can only be performed outside of a doctor’s office if a medical doctor, a physician’s assistant or an advanced-practice nurse is supervising on the site at all times.
Those practicing laser hair removal as they have done since 1997 — without a medical license — could be prosecuted for a third-degree felony if they fail to adhere to the rules.
Hair removal by electrolysis is not subject to the rules, but laser hair removal is because the Food and Drug Administration allows only doctors to buy the lasers, said Dr. Donald Patrick, executive director of the Board of Medical Examiners.