Blending a skin graft site to the surrounding skin using Medical Tattooing

Visibility is the main focus for a patient requiring Medical Tattooing. Blending a skin graft site to the surrounding skin was a successful treatment for this young man. 


A young man was playing football and experienced an aggressive tackle. His ankle was seriously injured and half unattached from the leg, he was given immediate medical help but they didn’t think they were going to be able to save his foot.

Luckily with the aid of the skin graft and the doctor’s skill, they did!

The image is the skin graft donor site. Healthy skin has been taken from the thigh to surround the ankle that would otherwise have been amputated.

The ankle was saved and the young man was able to walk and run again. The donor site is then left with areas of hyper and hypo-pigmentation. This is visible when wearing shorts, underwear, or swimwear. This patient enquired about the possibilities of Medical Tattooing and whether it could help reduce the visibility of the donor site.

Medical Tattooing to blend the skin

It was explained that Medical Tattooing can tattoo over the pale areas to blend them into the surrounding skin. On scarring, hypopigmentation and skin grafts, the whiteness will reflect the light making it much more obvious and noticeable. When the whiteness is darkened with skin tone pigment it makes it less visible.


The hyperpigmentation cannot be reduced with Medical Tattooing. Hyperpigmentation is caused by an increase in melanin, and if stimulated with a needle during Medical Tattooing there is a very high risk of causing more hyperpigmentation, making the area even more visible.

Visibility is the main focus for Medical Tattooing – whether we are trying to camouflage something and make it less visible in the case of this skin graft, or whether we are adding pigment to recreate a feature such as a nipple/areola, an eyebrow, or a cupid’s bow on a lip. When a feature is lost due to genetics, trauma, or surgery, the lack of it can also make people stare because they are trying to work out what is different. So adding the feature back brings about a perceived normality to the face or body, and therefore makes it less visible again.

Worth a read: Creating a Cupid’s Bow for a Cleft Lip with Medical Tattooing – Rae Denman


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