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Proposed cosmetic deregulation 'absurd'

Surgeons Denounce Deregulation of Lasers and IPL as a Dangerous Political Move

London, UK - 25 March 2008 - The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (, the not-for-profit organisation established for the advancement of education and practice of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery for public benefit, today denounced the Department of Health's (DOH) proposals to deregulate lasers and Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) technologies used for aesthetic purposes.

Laser therapy is one of the most common non-surgical procedures used in treating lines, wrinkles, scars and damaged skin. Hair reduction (according to Mintel, laser hair removal is the most popular non-surgical treatment), treatment of vascular birthmarks, and tattoo removal can also be achieved with lasers. IPL is suitable for hair removal from larger areas such as backs and legs.

Douglas McGeorge, President of BAAPS and consultant plastic surgeon, says;

"In an environment where clinicians are asking for tighter regulations it is absurd that politicians, who know very little about the limitations and complications of such treatments, should seek to further deregulate."

The proposed deregulation will mean that providers do not even need to register with the Healthcare Commission to offer these treatments. Although lasers and IPL can be safe if administered in an appropriate environment and by a properly trained clinician, the public must be aware that these procedures do pose risks, which can range from irritated skin and blisters, to burns, pigment scarring (black spots) and sores.

Douglas McGeorge adds;

"Sooner or later patients will suffer as a result of these political moves and the government will have to take responsibility for their actions."

For further more information on lasers and to find a qualified practitioner, visit or call the advice line on 020 7405 2234.


The BAAPS (, based at the Royal College of Surgeons, is a not-for-profit organisation, established for the advancement of education and practice of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery for public benefit. Members undergo thorough background screening before they can join. Information about specific procedures and surgeons’ contact details can be found on the website, or by contacting their office at 020 7430 1840. Further materials can be posted to members of the public seeking specialised information. BAAPS is also on Twitter:   and Facebook:

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