Bus driver felt face ‘sizzle’ while having beard lasered off at beauty clinic

A bus driver described how his face 'sizzled' when he underwent a procedure to have his beard and moustache removed at a beauty clinic.

Abdir Addowsheikh, 42, paid for an extensive course of laser treatment to remove his facial hair so he would be spared the daily chore of having to shave.

But the plan backfired during his third session at the Elite Laser Studio, in Islington, north London, in September 2018 when his skin began to "sizzle" under the intense heat of the laser.

By the time laser technician Anh Ngo responded to his complaints that the ray was too hot, he had suffered "very significant scarring and burning injuries.

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"He also developed an infection, had to take antibiotics and was off work for three weeks, he told Judge Damien Lochrane at Central London County Court.

After finding he received negligent treatment, the judge ordered Elite Laser Studio Ltd to pay the bus driver £14,199 in compensation plus around another £10,000 to cover his court costs.

In the witness box, Mr Addowsheikh told the judge that he had felt like the laser was too hot from the start of the treatment, but had tried to tough it out.

“The first time I told her it’s too hot, she answered that each session the temperature should be going up," he said.

“I wasn't expecting it to be so painful and so damaging. I was feeling very hot, I was sweating.

“I tried to endure the pain but at last I couldn't continue. It was too hot.

“The way I felt was really really bad."

Despite Mr Addowsheikh complaining to the technician it was not until his skin “sizzled” that the treatment was halted, he said.

He took three weeks off work following his ordeal and was left with discoloured skin around the neck and jaw line.

The technician who carried out the laser treatment, Ms Ngo, denied all blame, insisting that the beam was only on Mr Addowsheikh’s face for a short time.

It was she who called a halt to the treatment from the XLase Plus machine after her client began sweating intensely, she insisted.

“On his skin I saw something I had never seen before and I immediately stopped and applied gel,” she told the judge.

“He never told me to stop or that it was too hot otherwise I would have stopped way sooner.

“He never told me it was too painful, it was me who initiated stopping the treatment.

“I saw his forehead was sweating, but he said it’s okay, it’s okay."

But the bus driver's barrister Katie Taylor insisted he repeatedly said the laser was "too hot," adding: “you changed the setting but finally had to stop."

Awarding him damages after a half-day trial, the judge said he preferred Mr Addowsheikh’s evidence.

“This is on the face of it an extremely unpleasant and extensive series of burns he received,” he noted.

“The idea that he would sit there quietly while his skin sizzled under the administration of Ms Ngo seems wholly improbable.

“I don't accept that he made no complaint, it’s more likely that he did indeed complain.

“I accept he was subjected to negligent treatment by Ms Ngo in the course of this session at Elite Laser Studio’s premises, when he complained but the treatment continued and he ended up suffering very significant scarring and burning injuries."

The most likely cause of Mr Addowsheikh’s facial burns was the studio’s failure to carry out a skin “patch test” at a previous session to check whether he might react badly to a stronger blast from the heat laser.

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