More women are speaking out against a beauty treatment that they said caused excruciating pain and left them with permanent scars.
Deb Collins, Michelle Abery, and Niki Richardson all received the Erbium laser treatment from an Australian beauty therapist.
The women, who shared their story with Today Tonight, went into the beauty therapist’s clinic expecting to leave with smoother and rejuvenated skin.
But pictures show that their faces were swollen and bloodied for weeks.
Deb Collins, Michelle Abery, and Niki Richardson (Pictured L-R) are speaking out after they received the Erbium laser treatment from an Australian beauty therapist
Niki received the treatment at the woman’s former clinic in Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula
Deb said she consulted with a plastic surgeon following the procedure, and was told she had third degree burns.
‘There’s no words to say how excruciating it was,’ Niki said of the treatment. ‘My whole body was convulsing.’
Deb said she was told by the beauty therapist that there would be ‘no bad after-effects’ and that it would ‘feel like a bad sunburn’.
‘We wouldn’t have to wear makeup afterwards,’ Deb recalled being told.
Niki, 46, suffered with severe inflammation three months after having the same procedure carried out (pictured days after the procedure)
Michelle and Deb filmed the woman and her training assistant performing the treatment, their bloodied faces visible in the clip.
The woman can be heard in the clip saying ‘I’m a bit more brutal’, and telling one of her patients that ‘you may have a lot of swollen glands’.
Deb said the experience was ‘quite excruciating’.
‘She applied a lot of high pressure on a very high setting,’ she said. ‘Our faces were bleeding, there was blood running down on our faces and on our sheets, in our hair.’
Only doctors are allowed to use the laser in Western Australia. Licenses are required in Queensland and Tasmania
Deb and Michelle said they would send the therapist a photo each day of their swollen faces after the operation, and she would instruct them on how to treat it.
‘The first 24 hours we had to get up and scrub our faces with gauze every two hours,’ Deb said.
‘That was horrific, to the point where I had to sit on the floor in the shower, nearly passing out.’
It is an experience almost identical to that of Deborah June, who shared her own horrific story with Daily Mail Australia last month.
The 53-year-old from Melbourne also had an erbium laser resurfacing procedure with the therapist, and said she was left with a swollen face and scarring.
‘The laser itself was very painful, and I remember a smell like burning flesh while we were there,’ Deborah said.
‘By the time we left the clinic and got home and the numbing cream had worn off, it was excruciating.’
Deborah also had to sit on the floor to avoid passing out from the pain. It took months for the swelling and blistering to ‘die down’, she added.
‘It was as though I’d been in a serious fire, it was unbearable,’ Deborah recalled.
‘I was covered in dripping blood. I was told that I wouldn’t need to wear makeup on my face again, but I need to wear more makeup now than ever before.’
Deb said the experience was ‘quite excruciating’ and that there was blood running down her face and into her hair
It is an experience almost identical to that of Deborah June (pictured), who shared her own horrific story with Daily Mail Australia last month
‘There’s lasting damage on my face – I have scarring underneath my eyes and cheeks.’
Professor Mark Ashton, president of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons, is not surprised by the damage caused by the erbium laser treatment.
‘If you’re using a class four laser and you don’t have training, you can do a lot of damage and create a lot of scarring very quickly indeed,’ he said.
Deborah said she still has scarring underneath her eyes and on her cheeks to this day (pictured)
‘If they’re using something that’s causing a lot of bleeding, that means they’ve gone through the top layers of skin and into the blood vessels.’
Ashton said a plastic surgeon performing the procedure would have been using an anaesthetic or heavy sedation as well.
The beauty therapist, who used to practice in Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, closed her clinic after Niki came forward with her story.
But she opened up a new one in Canberra and wrote on Facebook that she was ‘the only laser therapist using the class four Erbium laser’, according to Today Tonight.
Niki said she has not been able to stop the woman from practicing despite contacting government departments, the health commission, and medical boards.
Only doctors are allowed to use a laser in Western Australia and licenses are required in Queensland and Tasmania.
Yet almost anyone can own and operate a laser in other states and territories, including the ACT, according to the Canberra Times.
‘These people are not under the oversight of an overarching State or Federal government, so the opportunity to prosecute, fine, or discipline that person is limited as it currently stands,’ Ashton said.
The beauty therapist told Today Tonight that she is now only consulting and training, and provided a statement against her former patients’ allegations.
‘By the time we left the clinic and got home and the numbing cream had worn off, it was excruciating,’ Deborah said (her friend she had the treatment with is pictured here)
‘My clinic has always provided patients with a pre-treatment assessment by medical practitioners affiliated with the clinic,’ she said.
‘All patients are offered a pre-treatment consultation during which they are educated about the treatment process and any potential risks associated with the treatment.’
‘In the rare event that a patient has an adverse treatment outcome, my clinic offers an immediate appointment with one of our medical practitioners who provides further assessment and treatment as required.’
Niki said she will continue speaking out to try and protect other women.
‘I saw purpose for coming forward publicly all along was to prevent this from happening to other people,’ she said.
‘I’m not going to give up my fight until something is done about it.’
Daily Mail Australia has reached out to the beauty therapist for comment.