Here Joanne Taylor, 37, tells the story in her own words.
Time to get my brows done! I decided, peering in the mirror.
I’d had them tattooed four years earlier to cover some bare patches.
As a busy mum-of-four, I didn’t have to pencil them in every day so it’d been the perfect solution.
Now, they had faded.
So I made an appointment at a beauty salon.
Arriving, I saw qualification certificates all over the wall.
Feeling reassured, I let the tattooist get to work.
When she finished, I was concerned.
They look like two solid blocks, I thought, worried.
Then, looking in the mirror two days later, I got a shock.
My brows had turned blue!
Mortified, I went to see her.
‘I’m sorry. I should have done a colour test first,’ she said. ‘I’ll give you laser removal at no extra cost.’
So a few weeks later, I went back.
She gave me plastic goggles to wear and started lasering.
‘Ow,’ I cried. ‘That really hurts!’
It felt like my skin was splitting. My head was killing me too.
Afterwards I staggered home in agony.
‘You look like you’ve been beaten up!’ cried my horrified husband, Craig, 44.
He was so worried he took me straight to hospital.
Medical staff were shocked.
My skin was so badly burnt they had to consult a burns specialist in Brisbane.
The skin above my eyes was split, bleeding and weeping pus.
My eyelids had ballooned, hanging over my eyes.
When I said I’d worn plastic goggles, the staff were horrified and said I should have worn special metal ones.
‘She could have damaged your eyes too,’ they said.
Applying cream to my skin, they put me on strong painkillers.
It took three weeks before the burning sensation stopped and the swelling went down.
My brows went from crusty to covered in scales.
They look like snakeskin, I thought.
Embarrassed, I didn’t leave the house without caking on make-up, desperate to hide my unsightly burnt brows.
Searching for answers, I learnt the laser must have been too strong, a skin analysis should have been done beforehand, and she should have waited at least eight weeks after tattooing to give my skin before lasering me.
Looking into possible legal action, I discovered it was too expensive.
So I contacted Queensland Health who confirmed the beautician was licensed.
However, they are looking at putting more regulations in place to cover this type of procedure.
Eight months on, I’m left wondering if my eyes will have suffered any long-term damage.
And my brows still look awful.
Now I just glad that I can warn others to think very carefully before going ahead with any cosmetic procedure.
It’s just not worth it if things go wrong.
Lasers are used to break down the ink in a tattoo by heating it up.
Afterwards, the skin can blister and scab and the area can be sore.
Scarring can occur in two per cent of cases.
If you have concerns about burns from a laser procedure, seek medical advice immediately.