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IPL skin rejuvenation treatment (12HDC01454)

Download IPL skin rejuvenation treatment (12HDC01454) (PDF 69Kb)

(12HDC01454, 12 June 2014) 

Beauty therapist ~ Beauty clinic ~ IPL ~ Skin rejuvenation ~ Patch test ~ Medical information obtained ~ Information provided ~ Vicarious liability ~ Right 4(1)

A woman saw a beauty therapist at a beauty clinic to receive Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) skin rejuvenation treatment.

Prior to commencing IPL treatment, the beauty therapist obtained limited information from the woman regarding her medical history, and did not perform a patch test on the woman's skin. The woman signed a consent form, which stated that possible side effects from treatment could include blisters and burning.

The beauty therapist performed IPL treatment on the woman's face using an "E-lite" machine. The beauty therapist leased the machine from an IPL practitioner, who trained the beauty therapist in its use.

During the IPL treatment, the woman felt as though her face was burning. When she informed the beauty therapist of this, the beauty therapist told her that this was normal.

Following treatment, the beauty therapist provided the woman with limited information about aftercare. The woman continued to feel burning on her face and developed swelling and blisters. Subsequently she sought medical treatment and cancelled her remaining appointments with the beauty therapist.

It was held that by failing to obtain adequate information about the woman's medical history, and failing to perform a patch test and provide adequate information about aftercare, the beauty therapist did not provide services to the woman with appropriate care and skill and therefore breached Right 4(1).

It was also held that, as the beauty clinic did not have any policies regarding obtaining relevant medical information, performing a patch test or providing aftercare information, it was vicariously liable for the beauty therapist's breach of Right 4(1).

In addition, comment was made that given that the "E-lite" IPL machine's user manual contains unclear safety guidelines, it is important that the IPL practitioner provides adequate safety information when training clients in how to use the machine. 

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