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Massachusetts Laser Tattoo Removal Regulations

In the state of Massachusetts, laser treatments for tattoo removal are considered to be cosmetic procedures and the practice of medicine, and are therefore governed by the Board of Registration in Medicine (BORIM). Any changes in BORIM law also apply to laser tattoo removal procedures. It doesn’t matter if you use a Picosure Laser, designed specifically for tattoo removal, or have a Quanta Q plus C laser or a Cynosure Revile, make sure you understand the rules in your state before you start booking those appointments.

Who can provide laser tattoo removal services in Massachusetts?

Licensed physicians or medical doctors are the only personnel permitted to perform medical laser procedures, such as laser tattoo removal treatments, without supervision. A physician or medical doctor is someone who has completed an accredited medical training program with hands-on training, and who is board-certified. However, licensed physicians can also delegate these procedures to qualified professionals or assistants, such as physician assistants, if the delegate is deemed competent and skilled in the use of laser safety and laser procedures.

Physician assistants can perform laser tattoo removal procedures using laser scanning under the delegating of a supervising physician if the following is true:

  • The supervising physician has determined that the physician assistant has the requisite experience and training to adequately perform the procedure.
  • The physician assistant wears proper identification and tells each patient that he or she is a physician assistant.

In Massachusetts, physician assistants are also allowed to perform patient examinations, provide medical advice and emergency care, and help refer the patient to a specialty procedure if the above conditions are met.

The supervising physician does not need to directly oversee the procedure. However, regardless of who actually performs the procedure, the supervising physician is held responsible. For this reason, it is imperative that the physician be completely confident in the qualifications and competence of the delegate.

Anyone providing laser tattoo removal services in Massachusetts must also adhere to the American National Standard for Safe Use of Lasers, published by the Laser Institute of America and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). This standard is a detailed guide to laser safety, classified by the type of laser used.

Requirements for laser tattoo removal facilities

In order to provide laser tattoo removal services in the state of Massachusetts, a facility must adhere to certain regulations. Prior to providing any laser services, a facility must:

  • Register with the Massachusetts Radiation Control Program (RCP)
  • Display the registration certificate on-site, in clear view
  • Use FDA-approved laser equipment
  • Keep detailed records on all purchases, sales, and disposal of laser equipment
  • Ensure that all laser safety regulations meet ANSI standards and that all employees are properly trained in laser safety

If any requirements are not met or if the facility is found to be engaging in fraudulent activities, the RCP will deny a laser certificate.

All facilities are subject to inspection by the RCP. In addition, if a laser device is imported from outside of Massachusetts, the facility must provide formal notice to the RCP at least ten days before the laser is used. If the RCP determines that a facility is operating in a way that impacts health safety or the environment, it may immediately suspend the facility’s certificate to practice laser services.

Please note that this article is not intended to provide legal advice. For legal advice regarding laser tattoo removal procedures, contact the Massachusetts medical board or call one of our reps at to discuss.

Direct Regulations Consulting Line: 888-875-7001.

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