Laser Tattoo Removal Regulations

Updated February 21, 2017

Tattoos are often acquired impulsively when someone is young or not thinking clearly. A lot of people ascribe personal meaning to their tattoos without considering the future ramifications of something so permanent. Tattoo removal has become a thriving business for licensed cosmetic surgeons. The most common way of removing tattoos is with lasers. There are no federal regulations governing tattoo removal. The prevailing laws on tattoo removal vary from state to state.


Many states require providers have a medical credential that demonstrates training to operate laser tattoo removal equipment. The secretary of state determines what qualifications are mandatory in each state. States classify lasers for tattoo removal in different categories, based on whether the laser breaks the skin or not. No license is required in the majority of states to use the most current laser technology which does not break the skin.


Physicians are not required to possess a license for tattoo removal. Look for a cosmetic surgeon with practice in removing inked art. Doctors who use lasers for other medical procedures, such skin disorders and hair removal, will be more experienced in the skill and more qualified to remove a tattoo.


Several of the laser tattoo removal manufacturers offer instruction to individuals purchasing their equipment. Companies such as the Laser Training Institute educate doctors, nurses and cosmetic surgeons in the use of medical lasers, ultimately offering certification acknowledged by most states. They meet the criteria set by the Board of Laser Safety (BLS) and the National Council on Laser Excellence (NCLE). They are a non-profit group, and the Laser Training Institute does not sell laser removal equipment.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Brad Stewart began his career as a published writer in 2010. He worked for four years as a judge and contributor to Campbell University's literary magazine, the "Lyricist," and his recent work has been featured on eHow and Answerbag. Stewart holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Campbell University.