Have you had or know anyone with a skin graft?
Does it affect them visually?
A skin graft is usually lighter in colour than the surrounding skin causing a visible difference that can cause concern and a lack of confidence for some people.
How can it be helped?
Medical tattooing can implant medically certified pigment into the area of the graft to match the skin tone. Numerous colours can be added to blend and give a realistic feel.
A Skin graft is an area of healthy skin that is taken from an unaffected area of the body and placed to cover lost or damaged skin.
This can be achieved by a partial thickness skin graft where a very thin layer of skin is shaved off from a donor area such as the buttock, thigh or calf.
These areas generally heal well, and take approximately 2-3 weeks to heal. The area will appear pink for a months and then gradually fades until it is barely noticeable.
A full thickness skin graft takes the full layer of skin from areas such as behind the ear, neck, upper arm and groin. The area of skin is removed and then stitched together. The healing time will be longer and a dressing is kept on for 5-7 days allowing the area to connect with the surrounding blood supply, and help prevent infection. The grafted area may appear reddish/purple at first but will fade over time, often remaining a different colour from the surrounding skin.
Medical Tattooing following healing
At least a year after healing if the graft area is lighter in colour than the surrounding skin and it bothers you, you can have a consultation with a Medical tattooist to discuss the possibility of adding pigment into the skin to blend it in. It is important to know your expectations, and understand that the graft is not going to go away. There may still be a visible difference but it will be greatly reduced. Pigments when mixed and implanted into the skin will change colour due to your melanin, body heat and light so the tattooing process takes place over a few months. At least 4 weeks between treatments is needed and then more colour can be added. Approximately 3-5 treatments will be needed but this is dependent upon the size of the area and pigment retention of the person.
Colours can be mixed for any skin tone and any type of skin as long as the area is fully healed. A medical tattoo will fade over time and colour boosts may be needed every 1-3 years. Anesthetic can be applied to ensure your comfort and your aftercare and reviews are as important as the procedure. The technician will explain all this to you and offer you a review after the procedure.
If you are unsure of any information, make sure you bring a friend or a family member with you to the consultation and receive written aftercare so you can review the information when at home.