My name is Leila and I am a full time working mum from the West Midlands area. I have always had issues with body hair being of Asian ethnic origin my hair is darker and thus more visible.
I went to a predominately white dominated school and in comparison came across as ‘hairier’ than a lot of my friends so I was subsequently bullied and it knocked my confidence. Waxing was always an option which I did do from time, but this was time consuming and worked out quite expensive, as regular as I was doing it. I just wanted it all gone and wanted to be like the other girls.
Laser hair removal was always something I wanted to do but was never really an affordable option given other commitments in day to day life. When I heard about the Philips Lumea I was so excited in that a product which promises to deliver salon quality results in your home was launched. I had also planned to go away for Christmas this year so thought being ‘hair free’ would be brilliant.
We hadn’t been on a family holiday for a while so this was something I was really excited about. So I researched on line and decided to purchase the latest model on the market for £350 from John Lewis.
I used some of my savings to pay for this as surely it was a worthwhile investment and was going to give me the confidence I never had.
So I brought it home and read the manual. I even watched You Tube tutorial videos to ensure I was fully prepared. I lasered my left arm and shoulder on a low setting, 3, as I was too scared to do a 5, and I don’t think it is recommended to go that high anyway, but setting number 3 according to the manual was fine.
Something didn’t feel right instantly and my arm felt quite heated, but I thought surely its laser so it is going to be warm. Nevertheless I decided to just try this on the top part of my left arm and wanted to make sure it didn’t irritate my skin so I waited 24 hours. Later that evening my arm felt like it was on fire so I put aloe vera gel to help sooth the area. My partner actually said at that point ‘what the hell has happened to your arm’ to me I still thought this was normal, given I have never had laser before.
The next day I work up my arm was actually burnt. I was scarred really badly and completely horrified with what had happened. Having had issues with self harm in my past the lower section of my arm always bothered me anyway now I had the whole arm to worry about. As you can see from the pictures the burns were disgusting and now I am left with possible permanent scarring.
This has knocked me back as I am worse off than I was before. I am not able to wear nice tops therefore I don’t really like going out with my friends and have to make excuses as I don’t want them to see the damage the laser has caused.
I have decided not to go on holiday hoping maybe next year with a bit of hope the scars may disappear, but this is probably wishful thinking. I doubt this can be corrected without surgery which I can not afford.
I wish I had never ever brought the damn machine. It has really affected my life at home personally and on a social level. These machines are clearly not regulated well enough in my opinion, and should be banned. There is a reason why laser and certain aesthetic treatments are supposed to be carried out with professionals and people have extensive training to carry these treatments out as they are dangerous.
As you can see from the pictures The scarring is awful and I have been to my GP as well as a aesthetic doctor who have both advised that I will need treatment to correct the pigmentation I have been left with.
With kind thanks to Leila for her story – names have been omitted for privacy reasons. Philips were contacted for a comment and for a chance for them to have a say, but had not responded at the time of publishing this blog. If you or somebody you know has been the victim of a similar situation please contact safetyinbeauty.com for support.