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Can You Sue for Waxing Burns From a Salon?

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Hot wax is the preferred way for many people to remove unwanted body hair. Waxing at home can be awkward, messy and potentially dangerous — which is why many people head to a beauty salon to get it professionally done. However, salon accidents can still happen, especially where extreme heat and sensitive skin are involved.

Accidental waxing burns can happen quickly, but the aftereffects can last a lifetime. If you’ve suffered one, you may wonder, “Can you sue for waxing burns?” The answer, in most cases, is “yes,” provided you can prove the salon operator or aesthetician was acting negligently, unsafely or in bad faith.

Preventing Waxing Burns at a Salon

Just as you would check your doctor’s or mechanic’s certifications, you should also check your aesthetician’s certifications before booking an appointment. Make sure they are accredited and licensed to perform the services they are offering. In California, for example, beauty technicians are governed by the California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology, and must follow safety standards. More than that, though, you should feel as though the aesthetician cares about the quality of their work and puts your needs first.

Also remember to check out the physical condition of the salon itself before booking an appointment, but if you don’t have time, then read the recent Google reviews for any red flags. It’s important that you’re comfortable with the level of cleanliness and that safety protocols are being followed.

How Long Do Wax Burns Take to Heal?

According to Healthline, a first- or second-degree burn can take up to two to three weeks to fully heal. As it heals, you should periodically apply an antibacterial ointment and change the bandage covering the burn. Keep the area covered in the sun. Don’t use ice or oil products on the burn, as these could make it worse.

A burn may heal quicker if you take immediate action to treat it, including:

  • Immediately running the burned area under cool water for 20 minutes. Don’t delay as the area will continue to burn until cooled off.
  • Rinsing the area with mild soap and applying a cold compress to the area. Don’t apply ice directly to the skin.
  • Applying an antibacterial ointment like Neosporin or Bacitracin, and covering the burn with a bandage or gauze.
  • Taking anti-inflammatory pain relievers like Tylenol to reduce discomfort.

If the burn is oozing or doesn’t seem to be healing, consult a medical professional.

Do Wax Burns Go Away?

First-degree burns from waxing usually go away on their own without scarring, according to Healthline. Second- and third-degree burns are more likely to leave scars, though, due to the amount of heat and how long it was in contact with your skin. Second-degree burns may leave scars that eventually fade, but third-degree burns will almost certainly leave scars, some severe enough to require skin grafts.

Burn Lawsuit Settlements

Injuries from burns can be incredibly painful and have long-lasting physical and psychological effects. If you’ve suffered due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to burn injury compensation.

Wax being applied at a salon - can you sue for waxing burns?

Perhaps the most famous burn injury case stemmed from an incident at a McDonald’s drive-through in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In 1994, when a 79-year-old woman suffered third-degree burns after spilling a cup of coffee on her thigh, buttocks and groin. She initially sued for $20,000 to cover medical expenses, but after it went to trial, she was awarded $2.86 million in compensatory and punitive damages.

At the time, it was found during the trial that McDonald’s served their coffee at a temperature of 180-190°F — hot enough to cause third-degree burns in anywhere from three to 12 seconds, and at least 20°F hotter than coffee served at other establishments.

The case was held up by some as the epitome of frivolous lawsuits in the United States, but that was mostly the result of a public relations campaign spearheaded by McDonald’s. As pointed out in the 2011 documentary “Hot Coffee”, the woman was permanently disfigured; her burns were severe enough to require skin grafts. She spent eight days in the hospital, and required further care from her daughter for three weeks afterward.

Burn injuries can be life-threatening and life-changing. Personal injury lawsuits may be the only recourse consumers have to hold corporations accountable for their negligence.

Other Lawsuits Stemming from Accidents in a Hair Salon

Other procedures performed in a hair salon could potentially be painful if not done correctly, and they could form the basis of a personal injury lawsuit.

In a nail infection injury lawsuit from 2015, a woman claimed that a substandard pedicure caused an infection in her toe, which subsequently had to be amputated in order to stop the infection from spreading to her leg. We’ve also previously looked at the question of “Can You Sue a Salon for Chemical Burns?” here on our personal injury lawyer blog.

We’re Here to Help with Your Burn Injury Case

Avrek Law is here to help you understand your legal options if you need a burn injury attorney. The consultation is free, and you’ll get expert advice from a law firm with more than $1 billion recovered in over 45,000 cases.  View one of our locations and contact Avrek Law for a free consultation. We want to hear more about your case!

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