If you are the provider-
When applying treatment using lasers or IPLs, you should perform a patch test of the intended treatment on part of the treatment area to assess if any adverse reaction may result from treatment. This simply means performing a first “zap” or treating a very small area. As part of the assessment, reasonable amount of time needs to be allowed in order to be confident that no adverse reactions will occur. This should be performed before each session as the skin may react differently on any given day. ("Reasonable amount of time" is left to the provider's discretion)
If you are receiving a treatment-
Your treatment provider should also perform a ‘patch test’ before the full treatment is applied. This simply means that the first ’zap’ from the laser or IPL is done on the intended treatment area, usually and, if possible, on a location that is less conspicuous. This will give both you and the treatment provider an indication of the effect of treatment on that area. This test should always be done on the day of treatment and for each repeat session as the skin may react differently on any given day. If undesired outcomes occur, the treatment should not go forward as planned. Your treatment provider should revise the treatment plan, explore alternative approaches, or not proceed with treatment at all.
YOUR INSURER DOES:
They might say "We will not indemnify you for any claim arising directly or indirectly from or in connection with the provision of laser, intense pulsed light treatments or variable pulsed light treatments unless:
(a) a patch test has been undertaken prior to treatment in accordance with the equipment manufacturer’s instructions; and
(b) the patient has had no adverse reaction of any kind to the patch test."
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