Several women have come forward claiming to have been left scarred after undergoing beauty treatments at a Sydney salon.
Yesterday ninemsn revealed the case of Julia Theodosis who was left with "clown lips" after having a cosmetic tattoo at the Laser & Beauty Centre in Burwood.
The incident occurred in 2009 but the business is still operating in Burwood Plaza shopping centre under the new name Absolute Rejuvenation Clinic. The shop opened in 2004 under the name Avalon Nail & Beauty.
Mary Moujaber, a 41-year-old mother-of-four from Punchbowl, said she and her friends Maggie Malkoun and Theresa Kouris went to the beauty salon in August to get laser skin resurfacing.
All three of them claim they were left with severe burns to their faces as a result of the procedure and have been told by dermatologists they may have permanent scars.
"When we walked out of there we looked like burns victims, that's what we looked like," Ms Moujaber said.
The trio have hired a lawyer and plan to take legal action against the store’s owner Jenny Tran.
In July, the District Court ordered Ms Tran pay $233,533 in damages to Ms Theodosis as compensation for the botched treatment to her lips.
ninemsn has attempted to contact Ms Tran but staff at the beauty salon said she was currently overseas and would not return until next week.
Ms Moujaber said the pain she felt while undergoing the laser resurfacing treatment at Avalon Nail & Beauty was excruciating, despite Tran applying a numbing cream beforehand.
"It was torture, like someone had put an oxy (blowtorch) to my face," Ms Moujaber said.
"Because there were so many women in there I thought this must be normal."
"But there were women in other rooms screaming. And I started bleeding because she had gone so deep."
When she was taken into another room to have a soothing mask put on Ms Moujaber said her body went into shock.
"I got up and started shaking and convulsing."
Four days after the procedure Ms Moujaber said her face had swollen to three times the normal size and after a fortnight of intense pain a GP told her it had become infected.
"I was housebound for a month. I had to sleep sitting up for two weeks because the swelling was so bad," she said.
"I had just finished up my job but I couldn't go to interviews. My whole life has been put on hold for the last three months."
Ms Moujaber's friend Maggie Malkoun, a 48-year-old mother-of-three from Bankstown, said she was shaking in pain from the procedure.
"I have a very high pain threshold and the pain that I was in I can't even describe, I couldn't handle it," she said.
Have you been the victim of a botched beauty treatment? Send an email with your details to firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr Philip Bekhor, director of the laser unit at Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne, said the type of ablative procedure the women underwent, which involves burning off the top layer of the skin, should only be carried out by a doctor.
"It's extremely alarming that this is being carried out by a non-doctor. This equipment should never have been in these hands," he told ninemsn.
"It is a high-level procedure that should be done in a highly-medicalised environment."
Dr Bekhor said the women would have been in severe pain during the procedure.
"When you are burning holes in the skin it is extremely painful and they need injected anaesthetic blocks or they will be traumatised."
"I'm surprised that they are not suffering from post-traumatic stress."
Correct procedure for laser skin resurfacing involved a doctor prescribing antibiotics and antivirals in the lead-up to the treatment being done and the patients should be carefully monitored afterwards, he said.
In NSW and Victoria you do not need qualifications to buy or operate a laser resurfacing machine.
"You could be a butcher's apprentice and conduct these procedures – there is no regulation," Dr Bekhor said.
Laser machines made overseas could be bought on eBay for as little as $120,000, he said.
Sources: Mary Moujaber, Maggie Malkoun, Theresa Kouris, Dr Philip Bekhor - Royal Children's Hospital, Avalon Nail & Beauty
Author: Emily O'Keefe, Approving editor: Henri Paget