Cosmetic treatments using radiation and ultrasound

Certain treatments for cosmetic purposes use laser beams or light, which may involve risks for human tissue (skin, eyes). Cosmetic treatments using radiation and ultrasound have thus been governed by a Federal Act and corresponding Ordinance since 1 June 2019.

Certain treatments for cosmetic purposes use products that generate non-ionising radiation, such as laser beams or light. These can place considerable strain on the radiated tissue. If these treatments are not carried out properly, the skin, eyes and other tissue may be exposed to significant risks. To minimise these risks, a number of precautions have been specified in the Federal Act on Protection against Non-Ionising Radiation and Sound (NIRSA). These precautions are set out in greater detail in the Ordinance O-NIRSA. The Act and the Ordinance came into force on 1 June 2019.

Certificate of competence  

As of 1 June 2024, the following thirteen cosmetic treatments that use non-ionising radiation or sound may be provided only by holders of a corresponding certificate of competence:

•    Acne
•    Cellulite and subcutaneous fat
•    Rosacea
•    Birthmarks and spider naevi (smaller than 3 mm and not near the eyes)
•    Wrinkles
•    Scars
•    Fungal nail infections
•    Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation
•    Stretch marks
•    Hair removal
•    Removal of permanent makeup (not near the eyes)
•    Removal of tattoos using non-ablative lasers (not near the eyes)
•    Laser acupuncture

The certificates of competence can include one or more of the treatments listed above. They cannot currently be acquired because the training and examination documents first need to be drawn up.

Responsible committee

The O-NIRSA ordinance stipulates that a committee will draw up training programmes, examination content and examination regulations for the various certificates of competence. These documents must correspond to the latest scientific and technical findings.

The committee was legally constituted as an association on 11 December 2019. It comprises the following six professional associations:

  • Association Suisse des Esthéticiennes avec Certificat Fédéral de Capacité ASE CFC, Grand Rue 2, 1095 Lutry
  • Association Suisse des Esthéticiennes Propriétaires d'Instituts de beauté ASEPIB, Rue des Platanes 51, 1752 Villars-sur-Glâne
  • TCM Fachverband Schweiz TCM-FVS, Alfred Lienhard Strasse 1, 9113 Degersheim
  • Schweizerische Gesellschaft für medizinische Kosmetik SGMK. Dorfstrasse 19a, 6340 Baar
  • Schweizerischer Podologen-Verband SPV / OPS, Bahnhofstrasse 7b, 6210 Sursee
  • Verband schweizerischer Berufstätowierer VST, Obergasse 8, 3264 Diessbach b/B

The board members are as follows:

Christine Brändli ASEPIB
Mario Malgaroli SPV / OPS
René Schätti SGMK

Next steps

The committee will draw up the training programmes, associated examination content and examination regulations by August 2020. The Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) will then check whether these documents accord with the latest scientific and technical findings.

Also in 2020, the FOPH will prepare an ordinance for the Federal Department of Home Affairs (FDHA) listing the various certificates of competence. For every certificate of competence, this ordinance will also list all the relevant examination centres. In order to be included in the FDHA ordinance, an examination centre must satisfy the committee's requirements relating to examination content and examination regulations. Potential examination centres are expected to be able to submit their applications to the FOPH from April 2021. The examination centres are scheduled to administer their first examinations by April 2022 at the latest. Candidates who pass the test will receive a certificate of competence made out to themselves personally and entitling them to provide the respective treatments.

While the FOPH is not a member of the committee, it does – within its legal remit – assist the committee on matters relating to methodology, organisation and communications. The FOPH will publish the finished training programmes, examination content and examination regulations on this website on an ongoing basis and at the latest by April 2021.

Last modification 30.11.2020

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Federal Office of Public Health FOPH
Division of Radiological Protection
Non-ionising Radiation and Dosimetry Section
Schwarzenburgstrasse 157
3003 Berne
Tel. +41 58 462 96 14

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