Lasers pair the power and duration of a highly concentrated light to a chosen area with either minimal or no negative affect to surrounding tissues. They have been used for dermatological purposes for many years, and are commonly used cosmetically for hair removal, wrinkle treatments, spider veins, and even teeth whitening. More sophisticated laser procedures involve eye and tissue removal surgery.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates medical lasers as prescriptive devices. It only permits medical lasers to be sold to licensed practitioners. The FDA regulates only the devices. It doesn’t regulate the health care practitioners. Inquiry must be made to one’s state board to determine who qualifies as a licensed laser practitioner in their state.
Unfortunately, not all state laws are uniform when it comes to regulating laser practitioners. States like California, Connecticut, and Florida consider laser therapy to fall with the scope of the practice of medicine and regulate it accordingly. Often, laser practitioners take part in ongoing education courses and certifications.
Because the safety of the laser device has already been determined by the FDA, additional assurance comes from the experience, knowledge, and training of the operator. Most medical spas operate under the direction and supervision of medical personnel. The facilities themselves must comply with state department of health regulations, and federal privacy laws must be observed.
So long as a medical spa offering laser treatment stands on the tripod of FDA approved laser equipment, compliance with any state licensing, and well-trained and experienced personnel, safety is a reliable comfort.
For patients that are still uncomfortable, it is important to remember that the settings on the laser are adjustable. If you’re concerned with skin damage or scarring, just tell the operator and they can adjust the laser’s settings.