Injuries Resulting from Cosmetic Application of Non-Ionising Radiation

Non-ionising radiation (NIR) can be applied for cosmetic purposes, such as the use of laser to remove tattoos or to improve the appearance of wrinkles, lines and acne scars. In Australia, there is limited and inconsistent regulation around the use of NIR for non-medical, cosmetic purposes. There is anecdotal evidence that cosmetic application of NIR frequently results in unintentional injuries, but to date there is no systematic collection of the injury data. Comprehensive NIR cosmetic injury data collection and analysis are required for Australian states and territories to be able to pursue the development of regulation for these applications.

The purpose of this PhD programme is to determine the burden of injury in Australia resulting from NIR treatment applied to the skin for cosmetic purposes.

The PhD programme of work will encompass:

1.      A review of the international scientific literature on injuries resulting from cosmetic use of NIR, followed by a media review of Australian case reports in news outlets in the last ten years

2.      A review of regulatory arrangements, health care complaints and legal cases relating to NIR treatment injury

3.      Patient data analysis of NIR injuries, based on: (a) hospital admissions data and emergency department presentations data; and (b) GP clinical data files where these can be accessed through one or more Primary Health Networks

4.      Design and implementation of a survey of patients who underwent NIR treatment, recruited through cosmetic treatment centres

5.      Discussion of the findings and drafting of recommendations regarding potential regulation of NIR use for cosmetic purposes, as well as recommendations for ongoing NIR related injury data surveillance

The thesis would be supervised by Associate Professor Janneke Gisolf-Berecki.

Learn more about our Victorian Injury Surveillance Unit