Vitiligo and micropigmentation: safety concerns answered
Did you know that skin cells, also known as melanocytes are the ones that are responsible for producing melanin, the pigment that gives colour to our skin? It is these melanocytes that lose their function and lead to the appearance of white patches, a condition known as vitiligo.
If you are suffering from vitiligo and have been unresponsive to traditional therapies, you may benefit from micro pigmentation, also known as medical tattooing. Similar to a tattoo, micropigmentation involves implanting tiny bits of natural pigment under the skin, and it's also referred to as "permanent cosmetics" when done.
Hence, micropigmentaton for vitiligo is an effective option and is safe when performed under medical supervision. Here, you will find all you need to know about micropigmentation for vitiligo, including the cost, the procedure, the advantages and disadvantages, and the safety of the procedure.
What are the treatment options for vitiligo?
Although vitiligo does not require to be treated, it is usually a choice of an individual to seek medical attention. There are several treatment options for vitiligo including creams and ointments, such as calcineurin inhibitors, corticosteroids, ruxolitinib (opzelura) cream, and calcipotriene. Also, there are oral medications, skin grafting, light therapy, cell transplant, depigmentation, etc.
In this regard, micropigmentation for vitiligo is one of the most effective procedures to treat the condition. Furthermore, this treatment must be conducted under expert supervision, to increase its effectiveness.
Why is micropigmentation done for vitiligo?
Due to the loss of skin cells that produce melanin, vitiligo appears as white patches on the skin. On white skin, the white spots might not be very noticeable, but on dark skin, they are quite evident. Using micropigmentation, these patches can be darkened with pigment to make them resemble the surrounding skin. In this regard, particularly, small patches on the fingertips and lips respond well to the treatment.
How is micropigmentation for vitiligo carried out?
To improve cosmetic and/or remedial outcomes, tiny, biologically inactive pigment granules are implanted underneath the epidermis in micropigmentation. The procedure is carried out in an aseptic environment.
An antiseptic is used to clean the procedure region first. To keep a patient comfortable throughout this treatment, topical anaesthetics are used. A pigment with iron oxide, titanium dioxide, mercuric sulphate, and cadmium sulphate is then injected into the between the upper and mid dermis with the aid of a manual or an electrically powered gadget.
While performing this procedure, the patient's skin tone is taken into account especially, when mixing the pigments, and to get the precise colouration, a doctor might blend colours. Medical professionals generally use organic pigments made from vegetables, which are considered safer than those made with iron oxide.
Two to four sessions are usually required for effective results, and it can be completed in less than two hours. Partial results can be seen immediately following the treatment.
What are the advantages of micropigmentation?
- The procedure aids in blending the white patches occuring in vitiligo to more closely resemble the surrounding skin.
- Compared to some other cosmetic treatments, the surgery is affordable and reasonably simple to undergo.
- Results appear right away, though the precise colour might take a few days to appear.
- Softens and flattens the vitiligo skin, by breaking up its roughness.
What are the disadvantages of micropigmentation?
- The process is mostly ineffective on the soles and palms.
- Although the effect lasts for a very long period, touching up may be necessary if it fades.
What are the risks of micropigmentation?
Although there are a few risks associated with micropigmentation for vitiligo, this can be significantly reduced if it is done under expert medical supervision or guidance. Regardless, a few of the risks of micropigmentation include the following:
The pigments used for the treatment might cause an allergic reaction in some people. For this, a healthcare provider usually performs a test behind the ear or on the finger before starting the treatment.
If sterile needles are not used or the ink is polluted, there is always a window for infection. However, if the treatment is carried out by a professional, and follows quality standards, the chances of getting an infection are minimal.
Reaction in the eye
Micropigmentation for vitiligo near the eyes can cause ectropion, crusting, eyelid damage, and loss of eyelashes if not done correctly. Therefore, it is imperative to undergo treatment at a reputed clinic and under the medical supervision of an experienced dermatologist.
Scar tissue and nodules
In rare cases. the body may respond to the ink as a “foreign substance," causing nodules to grow around pigment particles. Also, scars can develop after skin damage or injury.
Thus, the procedure must be done by an experienced medical professional in a reputed clinic offering micropigmentation for vitiligo such as UnCover.
Preparation of micropigmentation for vitiligo at UnCover
An experienced dermatologist will first examine the patient's physical condition and go over their medical history before recommending micropigmentation for vitiligo. The patient can have a conversation about what to expect, probable side effects, and the results of the procedure.
Is micropigmentation permanent?
Because of the ongoing replacement of epidermis cells, the ink used in micropigmentation for vitiligo never washes off, instead, it may fade over time. Therefore, one can consider it permanent. However, the procedure may need to be repeated in case fading occurs.
What is the cost of micropigmentation treatment for vitiligo?
The cost of micropigmentation for vitiligo varies and depends upon the area to be treated and the number of sessions required to achieve desired results. At UnCover pigmentation removal treatment is affordable and starts at Rs. 3000 for a 30-minutes session.
Micropigmentation for vitiligo is considered a permanent treatment because the pigment that is injected does not wash away but may fade with time requiring the procedure to be repeated. It is considered safe in most cases, with some risk factors to consider. However, one can significantly reduce these risk factors, if the procedure is performed under expert supervision, and by adhering to quality standards.
CTA: One can visit UnCover, for expert opinions and effective treatment options for vitiligo, such as pigmentation removal treatment.