South Carolina Board of Medical Examiners
LLR-BOARD OF MEDICAL EXAMINERS
Approved by the Board: At May 16-18, 2005 meeting
Service Area: Medical
Subject: Micropigmentation Policy
S.C. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, LICENSING & REGULATION
BOARD OF MEDIsCAL EXAMINERS
In accordance with Section 1-23-40 of the 1976 Code of Laws of South Carolina, as amended, notice is hereby given that the State Board of Medical Examiners of South Carolina has adopted the following statement as guidance for physicians in the practice of medicine under the South Carolina Medical Practice Act and the Principles of Medical Ethics as adopted by the Board. For purposes of discipline and licensure in matters before the Board, failure to practice in compliance with this statement may lead to discipline as a violation of the Medical Practice Act (§40-47-5, et seq.).
THE SOUTH CAROLINA BOARD OF MEDICAL EXAMINERS POLICY
RELATIVE TO MICROPIGMENTATION
South Carolina Board of Medical Examiners believes that the revision, destruction, incision, or structural alteration of human tissue is the practice of medicine, as defined by §40-47-20. Permanent cosmetics and micropigmentation involves the placement of color in facial tissues for the purposes of cosmetic enhancement, medical correction, and/or aesthetic restoration. Because micropigmentation involves the structural alteration of facial tissue, this procedure requires specialized training and can only be performed under the direction of a physician. The Board recognizes that permanent cosmetics, cosmetic tattooing, and micropigmentation of the facial tissues is a separate specialty which is outside scope of tattooing in this state. See §44-34-100(E) (unlawful to tattoo any part of the head, face, or neck of another person). As set forth in Section 16-17-700, of the 1976 Code of Laws of South Carolina, as amended (Act No. 250 of 2004), “It is not unlawful for a licensed physician or surgeon to tattoo part of the body of a person of any age if in the physician’s or of the surgeon’s medical opinion it is necessary or appropriate; and it is not unlawful for a physician to delegate tattooing procedures to an employee in accordance with Section 40-47-60, subject to the regulations of The State Board of Medical Examiners.” The safety of the patient must be the responsibility of the supervising physician as the patient’s protection is paramount. The physician must direct the course of the patient’s treatment, must directly supervise the person performing the procedure, and must be on site when the procedure is performed, so as to be immediately available in order to provide appropriate care as needed under the circumstances.