Lasers are useful across a variety of aesthetic and even cancer treatments. But having laser treatments without first getting a skin check poses a huge health threat: delayed diagnosis of skin cancer.

Surely, you don’t want to get a laser treatment if it means running the risk of having skin cancer and not know it. 

This is the point where you remind yourself that you can’t eat your cake and have it. But what if you could do the seemingly impossible— eat your cake and have it?

In our interview with Fiona Moss, a seasoned dermal clinician and University supervisor, she shared with us just what you need to do to eat this cake and have it. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Keep reading.

Understanding the Problem

To diagnose skin cancer, dermascopists use the dermatoscope to see deeper into the skin and inspect lesions. It’s the melanin and oxyhemoglobin structure of these lesions that give a clue on whether a lesion is benign or malignant. Unfortunately, when, for instance, you’re having a hair removal or skin rejuvenation done at your local laser clinic, the therapist is going to be targeting melanin and oxyhemoglobin.

Treating over lesions this way causes the usual structure to be disrupted. When your lesions are examined the results seen are no longer an accurate representation of what that lesion might be doing. 

Bear in mind that not all lesions are cancerous. Treat over a non-cancerous lesion, no problem. But treat over a possibly malignant one and you’ve just buried a life-threatening problem. As such, the real task is to determine whether a lesion is or isn’t cancerous. And the easiest time to do that is before you’ve had lasers done.

The way out

An expert therapist knows to not treat over certain lesions, sometimes only after naked-eye inspection. He knows that doing so may be problematic in the long run. But you see not every laser therapist is an expert.  

Particularly in Australia, there are practically no regulations on who can or can’t do a laser treatment. Most therapists are, therefore, focused on helping you take out pigmentation and get you those short term results that you want. And they often do that without even understanding the underlying risks.

If you want to get a laser treatment, you’re better off going to a medical clinic or a skin cancer clinic that’s specialized in treating cancers with lasers. Because of their experience and knowledge, they’ll know which lesions to cover and not to treat over. They’re also likely to encourage you to get a skin check before getting laser treatment. 

You’re safer surrendering your body to a practitioner who has a nationally recognised certification than using a “highly trained” practitioner whose laser clinic is located at some corner 2 blocks away from your home.

With the perfect practitioner, there would usually be some initial consultation involved in the process of getting a laser. They would enquire about your medical history or inquiring to ensure that it would be safe for your health. They wouldn’t be focused solely on getting you to do the procedure right out the gate. If that isn’t the case, then that practitioner is after your money—their financial gains.

If a therapist doesn’t show professional concern or your overall health, that’s not the kind of therapist you want treating you.

Bottom Line

The real hazard isn’t lasers themselves. Fiona agrees that lasers are incredible on the skin. Remove your freckles if you want to. Just do it the right way. And the right way is to put yourself in good hands—the hands of a highly qualified professional. And perhaps, to have your skin checked before getting lasers done.