Woman is left with painful chess board burn on her neck after laser hair removal – and claims salon still made her pay and sent her a pot of aloe vera when she complained
- Thobe Moyo, 38, from Cape Town, says laser hair removal left her with burns
- Read More: Woman, 27, left with burns all over her legs after a laser hair removal
A woman says laser hair removal left her with agonising ‘chessboard’ burns on her face and neck.
Thobe Moyo, 38, from Cape Town, suffered the burns after booking her annual appointment to deal with excess hair growth due to polycystic ovaries syndrome (PCOS).
She decided to have the hair removal treatment in September 2023 and had previously undergone it eight times and so believed she knew ‘what to expect’ from the session.
But she claims she was assigned a trainee and the treatment to the left side of her neck quickly turned painful with her feeling an ‘intense and unfamiliar burning sensation’.
She was assigned a trainee and the treatment to the left side of her neck quickly turned painful with her feeling an ‘intense and unfamiliar burning sensation’.
Thobe Moyo, 38, from Cape Town, South Africa, says laser hair removal left her with agonising ‘chessboard’ burns on her face and neck
Afterwards, Thobe was shown her skin in a mirror which revealed dark squares covering her neck and jawline.
She believes the burns occurred when the trainee ‘forgot to switch on the cooling mechanism built into the laser’.
One key aspect of laser hair removal treatments that practitioners can overlook is skin cooling.
If the skin isn’t cooled hair removal lasers can be responsible for discomfort, burning sensations, and even pain.
Despite querying the treatment, Thobe says she was still required to pay £13 for the hair removal.
Thobe, a consultant said: ‘My neck is burnt to a crisp. I’ve got dark rectangles along my whole neck.
‘I’m so anxious to leave the house. I just wanted to treat my symptoms but now I wish I never went.’
Afterwards, Thobe was shown her skin in a mirror which revealed dark squares covering her neck and jawline
Afterwards, when she looked in the mirror, Thobe was shocked to see a pattern of dark rectangles all over her skin
Thobe – a graduate of the University of Cape Town – started to grow facial hair when she hit puberty at the age of 18.
She was diagnosed with PCOS – a condition which causes irregular periods and excess hair growth.
Thobe said: ‘I hated shaving my face. I had to shave once a day before I found out about this other treatment.
‘I was a young woman that needed razors for my face. I looked for anything that could help.’
She discovered laser hair removal after graduating university – when a friend recommended it to help with her symptoms.
She was delighted with the results of her initial treatment and was able to stop shaving every morning.
Thobe said: ‘The first few times I had the treatment, the appointment was smooth and fairly cheap.
‘All prices have differed, but it’s worth it. My facial hair wouldn’t grow back for months.
‘There was a slight burn, but it cools down fairly fast.’
In September 2023, Thobe tried a different salon after reading ‘glowing’ reviews online.
She booked a lower face hair laser hair removal for £13.
Thobe – a graduate of the University of Cape Town – started to grow facial hair when she hit puberty at the age of 18
She believes the burns occurred when the trainee ‘forgot to switch on the cooling mechanism built into the laser’
On arrival, she advised that her skin would be left with a slight redness after the procedure and would require a cold compress.
Thobe said: ‘Everything seemed normal. They took my information and explained it all to me.
”But within minutes I noticed a zapping feeling and felt like my skin was being burnt.
”I didn’t want to complain as I assumed they’d know what they were doing.
‘Although I did raise my concerns with it feeling very intense.
‘They said it was normal and fiddled with the laser machine, thankfully after that it wasn’t as painful.”
But afterwards, when she looked in the mirror, Thobe was shocked to see a pattern of dark rectangles all over her skin.
When she was 18-years-old she was diagnosed with PCOS – a condition which causes irregular periods and excess hair growth
A month later her skin is still badly marked, although the dark rectangles are ‘slowly scabbing over’
She said: ‘I was in complete shock,. I knew it wasn’t normal, my skin had been burned.
‘They brushed it off and asked when I would be booking my next appointment.’
Staff at the salon reassured her it would only require a cold compress and some aftercare.
What is laser hair removal?
Laser hair removal is a cosmetic procedure that uses a powerful laser to remove hair.
This light source heats and destroys hair follicles in the skin, which disrupts hair growth.
Laser hair removal is usually safe, if you make sure the person doing it is experienced and suitably qualified.
It can occasionally cause side effects, such as pain and discomfort, and red skin that may last for some time.
Rarely, laser hair removal can result in:
Pain, discomfort or tenderness
Red skin that may last for some time crusting, blistering, bruising or swelling of your skin
Lightening or darkening of your skin
Scarring burns from the laser’s heat
A month later her skin is still badly marked, although the dark rectangles are ‘slowly scabbing over’.
As an avid swimmer, she hasn’t been able to get into a pool in weeks and hasn’t wanted to meet up with her friends.
After complaining, Thobe says she was sent a formal apology and a pot of aloe vera for the burns.
She said: ‘I’ve been to over 10 appointments for my hair removal. I’ve never been left burned or scarred.
‘An apology and a pot of aloe vera does not take away the damage they’ve caused.
‘People are asking what is wrong with my face. I’ve had to cover my face with scarves.
‘It’s been so difficult to sleep and live my life.’
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