Finding a definitive answer to this in the cosmetic context has proven to be a challenge. A burn or blister is NEVER a desired result of these treatments but from the media and limited government report data we know they occur with scandalous monotony. It is also suspected that adverse outcomes such as these are grossly under-reported too. Where the discomfort from a treatment is more than mild, speak up and ask the operator to stop. Don't be afraid to complain and take a photo of the injury. Here's what we do know from the wound care experts about managing burns in the short term (1):
With national uniformity and regulation on the horizon for laser and IPL and proposals for minimum education standards for cosmetic laser users as being a laser safety certificate that addresses light physics, regulation, safety, systems and practice adverse outcomes should be reduced as the skill and capabilities of the operators are enhanced.
1. Cuttle L & Kimble RM (2010). First aid treatment of burn injuries. Wound Practice and Research,Volume 18(1).
Image: Patil & Dhami (2008). Overview of lasers. Indian J Plast Surg
Rafael Nadal has it nailed. Low level laser therapy also known as cold laser is increasingly being used for sports injuries, wound healing, pain management and surgical recovery. So how does it work?