October 2008 > Oregon
Taking License | by Kraig Bohot
Deborah Masten, who has served on the Board of Cosmetology since 2005, might have imagined addressing the use of lasers when she volunteered to sit on the board’s Product Safety / Public Protection Committee.
After all, Masten has specialized in the use lasers in her esthetics practice and has served as the board’s laser expert during a time when technology has allowed further expansion of lasers into the esthetics field.
But did she think she would be deciding whether or not providing pedicures with fish that suck dead skin off your feet are allowed under Oregon law?
“You never know what’s going to come out on the market,” says Masten. “The challenge is to see what fits within the limits of the law.”
Farewell to Fish, Hello to Hair Enhancement?
At its September 22 meeting, the Board of Cosmetology elected to leave fish pedicures off the growing list of items the Product Safety / Public Protection Committee is addressing.
Unless someone discovers a way to disinfect fish, fish pedicures will not be allowed in Oregon cosmetology facilities.
Nor will something called “ear candling,” the intent of which is to remove wax from your ears. I guess the only way removing wax from your ears would be for cosmetic purposes is if there is a noticeably large amount of wax needing removal.
Not a pretty image, and not a service a barber, esthetician, hair designer or nail technician should provide to the public because it leans more toward a medical procedure than a cosmetic procedure.
But what about laser hair enhancement? Aqua-chi? Teeth whitening? And the continuing saga of roll-on waxing?
Safety, Scope and Snake Oil
The Product Safety / Public Protection Committee’s role is to determine if a product or service is safe and whether or not it fits within the scope of practice of barbering, esthetics, hair design or nail technology.
Whether or not a product or service actually produces the desired effect that is promoted by the manufacturer or is just another hyped under-performing dud is another story.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversees regulation of devices such as lasers and determines whether or not the device effectively performs its intended use.
If a product or service is obviously not within the scope of one of one of the four individual fields of practice, should a cosmetology facility be prohibited from offering that product or service?
Consumers may have the perception that all products and services offered in a licensed cosmetology facility are regulated. For example, spray tanning booths aren’t regulated but are allowed in cosmetology facilities.
However, spray tanning is obviously within the scope of esthetics, unlike teeth whitening.
Services such as aqua-chi, which claims to remove toxins through the feet by infusing a foot spa with direct current, are less obviously within or without of scope.
Lasers Lead Long List under Review
Besides reviewing laser hair enhancement and growth devices, the committee is taking another look at laser skin resurfacing. New lasers allow shallow skin resurfacing of the epidermis.
The committee will continue to review roll-on waxing systems, specifically those that feature reusable wax cartridges.
Such systems will be allowed only after manufacturers provide sufficient research showing no evidence of “flow-back” of used wax into the wax cartridge.
The same goes for those storage boxes using a “hospital grade germicidal bulb” to “sanitize and disinfect.”
Until manufacturers provide evidence that such products are as effective as state-approved disinfectants and autoclaves (for sterilization), don’t use them for anything but storage.
Thanks to Outgoing Klarr, Board Members
Thanks to outgoing Board of Cosmetology Vice-Chair Deely Klarr for serving on the board since 2004. I’d also like to take the opportunity to thank all board members.
Board members for all OHLA-regulated professions volunteer their time and effort to provide profession-specific expertise and a public or consumer perspective.
OHLA is always looking for interested and qualified candidates for board and council membership. For more information, visit our Web site at www.oregon.gov/OHLA and look under Current Topics.
Kraig Bohot is Communications Coordinator at the Oregon Health Licensing Agency (OHLA), a state consumer protection agency providing centralized regulatory oversight of multiple health and related professions. He can be reached at (503) 373-1939 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Oregon Health Licensing Agency (OHLA) and the Board of Cosmetology’s Product Safety / Public Protection Committee are reviewing the following:
The Board of Cosmetology will discuss the committee’s report at the November 3 regular meeting.
Product Safety Step-by-Step
A recent request by a laser company for clarification on whether or not Oregon estheticians may use one of the company’s lasers for skin resurfacing highlights the process for addressing scope of practice and safety issues.
Is a laser whose intended use is for “…the excision, incision, ablation, vaporization and coagulation of soft tissue” allowed for esthetics use if it performs “shallow” skin resurfacing (10-30 microns, or the upper third of the epidermis)?
Laser skin resurfacing is listed as within the scope of practice of esthetics in Facial Forward public education materials at www.oregon.gov/OHLA/COS and in the company’s US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) documentation.
However, the Oregon Medical Board’s 2002 “Statement of Philosophy on Medical Use of Lasers” states that “Destruction, incision, ablation or the revision of human tissue by use of a laser is surgery.”
The Oregon Health Licensing Agency (OHLA) and Board of Cosmetology continually work to clarify requirements as new and emerging technologies and services appear.
The following highlights the resources and steps OHLA and the board are taking to thoroughly address such requests for regulatory clarification:
Part of the process involves reviewing how other states regulate and how other state agencies determine scope of practice.
The Board of Cosmetology next meets on Monday, November 3, 9 am in the Rhoades Conference Room at OHLA in Salem. Board meetings are open to the public and offer an opportunity to comment on board business and other related matters.
For a meeting agenda, visit the OHLA Web site at www.oregon.gov/OHLA/COS, call OHLA at 503.378.8667 or visit the OHLA office. Meeting agendas are usually finalized and posted to the Web site within two weeks of the meeting.
How many practitioners and facilities are currently licensed in Oregon? (Numbers in parentheses +/- change from previous month.) According to Oregon Health Licensing Agency (OHLA) records as of Sept. 26, 2008:
Practitioners ..... 30,854 (+86)
Facilities ..... 4,531 (+42)
Independent contractors ..... 7,014 (+76)
Certificate of ID .....161 (+11)
Barbering ..... 5,850 (-26)
Esthetics ..... 13,543 (+12)
Hair Design ..... 20,946 (+45)
Nail Technology ..... 14,945 (+17)
Oregon Health Licensing Agency
700 Summer Street NE, Suite 320 • Salem, OR 97301-1287
Licensing Office (503) 378-8667 • Enforcement Unit (503) 378-4294
OHLA Agency Staff:
Susan K. Wilson, Director
Tricia Allbritton, Administrative Rules/Legislation
Richard McNew, Business Administration
Tim Molloy, Regulator Operations
Board of Cosmetology:
Michael D. Snook, Salem — Chair
Deely Klarr, Salem — Vice Chair
Linda Bergmann, Florence
Patricia A. Hall, Pendleton
Debora Masten, Salem
Judith N. Petersen, Albany
George Robb - Public Member