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Scope of Practice

What can a Body Art Practitioner do?


Body Piercing

Body piercers perform piercing services, including earlobe piercing, in licensed facilities. Body piercers must adhere to stringent universal precautions for sterilization of needles and equipment, biohazard waste disposal and infection control practices formulated to state and national standards. 

Standard body piercing includes all body piercings with the exception of specialty level one piercings and specialty level two piercings.  Standard body piercing services do not include testes, deep shaft (corpus cavernosa), uvula, eyelids, or sub-clavicle piercings.

Earlobe Piercing

Earlobe piercers are limited providing services on the soft lower part of the external ear only, not to include cartilage. Earlobe piercers are limited to only using a earlobe piercing system which includes pre-sterilized encapsulated stud and clasp system. ​

Dermal Implanting

Dermal implanting is defined as "...the insertion of an object under the skin of a live human being for ornamentation or decoration." 
Dermal implanting and scarification are new fields of practice resulting from the passage of House Bill 2013 in 2011 and are currently prohibited.  


Electrologists, through a series of treatments, permanently remove hair from the skin by inserting a sterile needle-conductor into the hair follicle and directing electrical energy toward the hair cell. Electrologists work in private practice, in cosmetology facilities, and in collaboration with dermatologists.


Scarification is defined as "...injury of the skin to produce a scar on a live human being for permanent ornamentation or decoration."
Dermal implanting and scarification are new fields of practice resulting from the passage of House Bill 2013 in 2011 and are currently prohibited.  


Tattoo artists mark or color the skin by inserting nontoxic dyes or pigments into or under the dermal portion of the skin using single-use or sterile needles to form indelible marks for figurative, decorative, cosmetic or medical purposes. ​

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Scope of practice questions

Do you have a question about how a law or rule impacts your individualized practice?

Please know that the Health Licensing Office (HLO) and its boards do not provide individualized advice on how the law applies to practice in the field. Here are some resources:
  • If you are looking for an attorney to provide you with legal advice about the statutes and rules governing your licensure, the Oregon State Bar has information on how to hire a lawyer.
  • If you wish to make a complaint against a person for violating HLO and the board's statutes or rules, you may use this complaint form.
  • If you wish to make a public comment on the statutes and rules governing your licensure, interested party feedback is encouraged at all public meetings.
  • Guidance on how to obtain a license is available on the HLO website.
  • If you believe HLO and the board's rules need to be amended, you may file a rule petition with HLO for consideration. Please note that any rules must fit within HLO and the board's current statutory authority. Please also know that the board will consider your position but might not adopt your proposed rule. The statute that governs rule petitions is ORS 183.390.
  • If you believe HLO and the board's statutes need to be amended, information about the legislative process is also available on the Oregon Legislature's website.

Please know the HLO and its boards remain neutral on substantive bills proposing changes to its laws and cannot act on your behalf in any proposals to change the governing statutes. 

If you have further questions, please contact Board Specialist Maria Gutierrez at 503-373-1906.

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More information

For more information, contact HLO policy analyst Samie Patnode at 503-373-1917 or samie.patnode@state.or.us.
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