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Woman claims she ‘looked like leopard’ after suffering multiple burns from laser hair removal

A woman who claims she suffered multiple burns during laser leg hair removal has told the High Court how a therapist told her she looked like a leopard following the treatment.

Naomi Kumar (29) said the treatment eight years ago caused burns that blistered and turned to scabs over a period of weeks and “after that I really did look like a leopard”.

She told Mr Justice Paul Coffey there were about a thousand marks on her legs and she had intense pain during and after the treatment at the Therapie Clinic, Molesworth Street, Dublin.

Asked by her senior counsel, Eugene Gleeson, how long it took for the discoloration or “leopard spots” to fade, Ms Kumar said it took 18 months or two years before they totally evened out.


She was giving evidence on Wednesday in her action over the hair removal treatment at the clinic on October 21st, 2015.

Ms Kumar, of Clonkeen Grove, Deansgrange, Glenageary, Co Dublin, has sued the owners and operators of the Therapie Clinic, Molesworth Street, Dublin.

The defendants are Lintrath Holdings Lltd, Philkat Ltd; Valterous Ltd and Body Clinics Ireland Ltd, all of which have offices at Joyce House, Holles Street, Dublin and Philip McGlade, Blackrock, Dublin.

It is claimed that Ms Kumar was caused to suffer multiple burns to her legs in the course of the laser hair removal treatment and there was a failure to stop the treatment when it was apparent Ms Kumar was in significant pain and suffering from burn-type injuries.

At the outset of the case, Mr Gleeson, appearing with Abdulla Morgan Kamber, told the court liability had been conceded but causation is an issue in the case.

In evidence, Ms Kumar said that at the time of the treatment she was a Zumba dance teacher and studying at college.

She had booked sessions of laser removal for €1,100 with removal from the upper lip, underarms, legs and bikini line.

On her seventh session in October 2015, she said, the therapist started treating her right shin.

“Immediately there was a pain like I had never felt before. My right shin immediately came up in red/purple marks. I asked the therapist to stop and take a look at my shin,” she said.

The therapist said it was fine and “that happens to everyone”, Ms Kumar said.

She said she asked the therapist to stop and look at her leg again as she said it was “incredibly painful”.

“She said I was fine and maybe I had a low pain threshold,” Ms Kumar said, adding that she asked the therapist to stop a third time and again she was told she was fine. The laser removal continued on her right leg and the therapist then started on the left leg.

“The same thing happened. I came up with red marks and it was incredibly painful. I was sweating, I was wincing with every shot. It was just excruciating,” she said.

She said that when the therapist finished the treatment, she took off her goggles and said “I looked like a leopard”. Ms Kumar said when she looked at her legs, she remembered gasping. She said she tried to pull on her jeans and it was awful.

Afterward, she said, she paid and the therapist “cheerily said goodbye and asked if I would like to book in again”.

Ms Kumar said she had a French exam, but she threw up a couple of times on the way to college and she had to defer the exam.

“I was distressed and in a lot of pain,” she said.

She said it was the most aggressive pain she has ever felt and three months later she was still in intense pain and could not dress and spent her time at home in her underwear.

She said that in 2018, three years afterwards, the pain was severe from her hip to her ankle.

The case before Mr Justice Paul Coffey continues on Thursday.