Texas rules that Laser hair removal is "medical procedure"

via HairTell Premium breaking news:

Nov. 24, 2004, 10:44PM

Hairy problem becomes ‘medical procedure’
Specialists cry foul when board says laser removal is a job for doctors

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.


Sounds like a successful attempt by some doctors to limit competition.


I have been to two laser hair removal facilities. I first went to one about two years ago when I was 20. It was called Lasique (very exotic sounding) and was located in austin, tx. I did some research before hand but this was a fairly new company and they did not have any complaints filed with the better business bureau. I paid $3500 up front for all of the areas I wanted done for six sessions (I know now that this price should have been a red flag). Although this facility was the nicest looking one that I had been to, I started to get suspicious when I had a different technician everytime I went in. I asked them about it and they acted unsure and told me that that shouldn’t happen. The hair appeared to be diminishing as it did fall out about a week after each session. After five sessions there had been no reduction and when i called to make my sixth session appt. there was no answer. I went to the facility and found them out of business. There was a class action lawsuit filed against them and the banks got all the money. This should be prevented in the future and the only way to do that is through legislation and regulation. At least I woudl be able to hold a doctor accountable if that happens again.

Ruling backs operators in laser hair removal

11:46 PM CST on Thursday, December 2, 2004

By CHRISTY HOPPE / The Dallas Morning News

AUSTIN – Specialists in removing unwanted hair won a temporary reprieve Thursday from unwanted medical oversight.

State district Judge Pete Lowery issued a temporary restraining order that halts enforcement of a new rule of the Texas Board of Medical Examiners that deems laser hair removal is a medical practice that requires a physician’s assistant or nurse practitioner be on-site to supervise.

Laser hair removal operators have been fighting the new rule, saying hiring medical personnel could drive them to bankruptcy by adding as much as 20 percent to their cost of doing business. Using a laser to burn away unwanted hair is the second most-popular, nonsurgical cosmetic procedure in the nation.

In the court order, laser hair removal operators contended that they would be, “irreparably injured because they will be prohibited from engaging in a business in which they have previously provided.”

A hearing is set for Dec. 16.

Dr. Donald Patrick, director of the medical board, said earlier that the rule, which was debated for more than a year, was created to protect the public.

He pointed out that only a physician can purchase the laser equipment, but it is frequently operated by technicians without medical personnel present.

As I am from Texas and have had 5 laser “whatevers” (I refuse to call it treatment), I am glad steps are being made to police this practice. Why not have it under the supervision of doctors? Having a laser light shot at your body hoping that it is targeting a tiny individual follicule is not something you want some geek off of the street overseeing. Had I known then what I know now! Anyway, in Texas virtually anyone can start up a laser clinic and claim to be a “practioner” or “technician.” Why they would cry foul when courts order them to reform and to have medical assistance nearby is only testament to the rogue practices that exist and the unknown possibilities that can happen after a shocking. The idea that someone would say it will hurt their business by an attempt being made to protect the public is just one more example of the laser folks putting profit over people. And it certainly is not a desire of doctors to limit comepetion as someone mentioned above. Let’s look at LHR from a completely Orwellian and overhead perspective: you pay expensive amounts for something that may or may not work for you, its results are not time-tested neither is its effectiveness, the hair WILL grow back therefore meaning that if you want it to stay down (notice I did not say removed) you have to go back and pay them more money, etc etc. Who benefits from this? The hirsuite patient or the person taking their money?
Excuse me if I sound bitter but I for one can testify to the entire process being grossly misleading and not nearly effective enough to be worth so much money.