Skin micropigmentation is an ideal vitiligo camouflage for focal vitiligo with non-progressive and static patches.
What is micropigmentation?
In this vitiligo camouflage micropigmentation technique artificial pigments are implanted into the skin uniformly, by using special surgical tattoo equipments. The pigment particles must be metabolically inert so that after completion of tattoo, the micropigmentation areas of skin do not get change in the pigments due to biological processes.
Colors like black, white (titanium oxide), camel yellow, brown (iron oxide), red (mercuric sulphate, cinnabar) are used in vitiligo camouflage. In sterile environment the colors are mixed and blended to get a very close match to the skin colour of the patient. Sterile water and glycerine are added to get a paste of this pigment powder. The expertise, experience and training of the professional play a great part in the success of this scientific vitiligo tattoo procedure.
Requirements for skin micropigmentation
- Both hand held mechanical pin vice or electrically operated machine can be used.
- Pin vice to hold 8-10 needles is selected. If it is electrically operated device, needle bar with 2-6 needles is prefered.
- Antiseptic lotion is required to clean the skin area where tattoo camouflage is to be done.
- Local anaesthesia is required, so that the person undergoing micropigmentation will not feel pain or distressed.
- High quality pigments and base materials are required.
- For micropigmentation surgical bed with proper lighting is required.
- Oral and topical antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medicines are required.
Suitability of patient for vitiligo micropigmentation
- Patient with focal and non progressive vitiligo (for the past one year) is suitable for skin micropigmentation.
- Micropigmentation is contraindicated in patients with progressive vitiligo.
- This skin camouflage vitiligo tattoo may not be done on a person with HIV as the affected area may throw up more problems to the patient like infections especially of herpes simplex virus.
- Vitiligo camouflage tattoo is also contraindicated in persons with collagen disorder and keloid tendency.
- The vitiligo camouflage is also contra indicated if the person is suffering from any infectious disease and particularly of skin.
- In such persons the procedure may be done after total cure and resolution of the skin infection and after proper evaluation of the present skin condition of the patient by a dermatologist.
- Persons with medical history of psoriasis and skin allergies must consult a dermatologist before opting for vitiligo tattoo camouflage.
Procedure of vitiligo camouflage tattoo
- As in any surgical procedure, the consent of the patient is taken for camouflage tattoo.
- The machines and the equipment to be used for micropigmentation are sterilized properly.
- The site of the skin wherein camouflage micropigmentation is to be done is surgically prepared.
- The right blend of pigments for tattoo for getting a color very close to the colour of surrounding skin is made.
- This is of vital importance as in improper blending the patient may end up with different tattoo color patches.
- The pigment paste is applied on the vitaligo area and tattoo is done.
- After completion the excess pigment is wiped off and the area is carefully observed for vitaligo spots wherein the pigment is not sufficiently implanted.
- These areas are again applied with the pigment paste and tattooed to achieve uniform pigmentation.
- To reduce inflammation cold sponge is pressed on the spot for some time.
- Antibiotic and anti-inflammatory medicines are given to ward of infection and reduce inflammation and pain.
Advantage of vitiligo camouflage tattoo
- In micropigmentation immediate camouflage of the vitiligo white skin patch is seen.
- Compared to other vitiligo procedures, camouflage is less expensive.
- In other procedures there may be poor response to the treatment while in vitiligo tattoo mostly satisfactory results are obtained.
- In tattoo camouflage procedure hospitalisation is not required and the patient can return home after micropigmentation.
- Camouflage micropigmentation can be done at any affected part of body.
Possible complications and side effects in vitiligo micropigmentation camouflage
- In some persons this tattoo procedure may induce allergic reactions.
- After all the care taken for matching the color of the normal skin with the tattoo pigment, sometimes there may be mismatches in some cases of micropigmentation.
- Sometime there may be leaching of the pigment making the micropigmentation area look pale.
- In some cases the skin shades of the camouflage tattoo may change.