Vitiligo Tattooing

Medical tattooing has been proven to be advantageous over recent years. Topical camouflage is the most effective visual treatment. It is not a traditional vitiligo treatment but used as a camouflage technique. With the help of artificial pigments that are deposited into the skin, by using any tattooing needles or surgical techniques, the patches are covered with a design. It will work best for darker skins, and the color may become lighter with the passage of time. The correctness of color match depends on the skills & competency of the tattooist. Micro-Pigmentation is a process of changing the skin color by injecting artificial pigments into it. The pigment is stable and it will last for years before fading. If someone has a very long standing, stable and small vitiligo patch, and it is of cosmetic importance to cover the patch, he might choose the option of vitiligo tattooing. Tattoos do not get affected by the process of vitiligo. Tattooing has in fact been used to camouflage the vitiligo spots. A word of caution though; vitiligo tattooing pains more than a normal tattoo would. Tattoos may however fade independently on some people. Tattoos are a good choice for lips where no other treatments will work. Tattoos have a risk of infections if proper procedures are not adopted. A research which was held recently proved that tattooing can help vitiligo patients. Thirty patients with localized stable vitiligo were selected from the Out Patient Department for cosmetic tattooing. Of them, 19 cases (63.3%) had skin patches, 9 cases (30%) had mucosal patches, and 2 cases (6.7%) had both skin and mucosal involvement. After complete clinical evaluation, cosmetic tattooing was performed on these patients, and they were followed up for 6 months. As results, 23 cases (76.7%) had excellent color matching, 2 cases (6.7%) had good color matching, and 5 cases (16.6%) had pigment shedding. Excellent results were seen in all mucosal patches. Dark complexion cases showed better results than fair complexion ones. Using the art of tattooing to implant pigments in the skin is not uncommon and is popular with people who have dark skin. Although the color of the tattoo doesn’t always match the shade of the skin, it is a useful way of hiding the patches.

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