How Medical Tattooing works with Hypo-Pigmentation


Hypo-pigmentation. An area of skin that has lost all or some of its pigment. Its colouring. An area of skin that is lighter than the surrounding skin either as a birthmark, as a result of trauma or medication. For some people when their skin or face is visibly different it can become more obvious to themselves than to others. Even if they are very confident people, the visible difference can still have an affect on the way they view themselves.

Hypo-pigmentation exits in all skin types from the very pale, yes it does still show up on people with extremely pale, skin to Asian, Indian or African skin tones. The darker the skin tone, the results will be more obvious especially if there is no melanin in the area concerned at all. This is often named vitiligo.

Vitiligo is a lack of melanin in particular areas on the face and/or body. However, with birthmarks or trauma hypo-pigmentation, vitiligo is active, and it will move around the body sometimes getting larger and more areas, sometimes diminishing. When the vitiligo is active the only way to cover it is with camouflage cream. This will cover it completely and not stimulate or encourage it. If the vitiligo has been dormant for 7 years or more, then Medical Tattooing can help by adding pigment into the areas concerned. A patch test would need to be performed to check that the needle does not stimulate the vitiligo into being active again.

Vitiligo and hypo pigmentation is harmless for individuals physically but can cause psychological harm relating to confidence. There will be a varied response to having a visible difference and sometimes just knowing there is a solution or a treatment that can help reduce its visibility can make a great deal of difference to someone.

The number of treatments needed will be dependent on the size of the area concerned, how well the patient retains pigment, medication, age, time spent in the sunshine. The photo below is after 3 treatments over a period of 9 months. One more treatment followed with potentially one more post healing. This will be determined by the patient and the practitioner as to whether they think it can be improved visually.


The treatment time is approximately 1.5 hours and between 4-12 weeks is left for healing time. An SPF 50 must be worn at all times all over the face to stop the tanning process as this can change the surrounding skin colour. Sun will also fade pigment so for a longer lasting effect SPF 50 is important. The area of skin needs to be kept dry for 48 hours (no steam, sweat, water) and no swimming, sauna and sunbed for 10 days. An aftercare balm is provided and applied finely 2-3 times a day for the first 4-6 days.  The area will slough away over this time looking a little lighter (sometimes up to 50% lighter), and over the preceding month the colour will come back to the surface of the skin. Only after 4 weeks can another treatment be undertaken.


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