Vitiligo re-pigmentation is possible through medical tattooing of the skin, on various parts of the body, allowing you to regain your confidence. Suki Su Permanent Natural Makeup has extensive experience in such treatments for clients, ensuring every treatment is customised to the individual.
What is Vitiligo?
Vitiligo is a skin condition whereby a lack of melanin – skin pigmentation – causes white patches to occur on your face and body. It often begins as a pale patch of skin that gradually turns white, or there is a central white patch with lighter skin around. The edges can be smooth or irregular, with the patches sometimes becoming red and inflamed. Some also experience hyperpigmentation which is a brown discolouration.
Generally, the areas most affected by vitiligo are:
- Mouth – inside and outside
- Fingers and wrists
- Groin and genitals
- Scalp which can cause affected hair to turn white or grey
Types of Vitiligo
Although vitiligo symptoms remain similar, the areas typically affected are often determined by the type of vitiligo experienced.
1. Non-Segmental or Generalised Vitiligo
Also referred to as bilateral vitiligo, this form of the skin condition results in symmetrical white patches on both sides of your body. This is the most common type of vitiligo and tends to affect:
- Arms and back of the hands
- Knees and elbows
- Body openings such as around the eyes and mouth
2. Segmental or Localised Vitiligo
Another form of vitiligo – also referred to as unilateral vitiligo – is where white patches are limited to an area of your body, generally starting in childhood.
3. Mucosal Vitiligo
It affects the mucous membranes of your mouth, as well as the genitals in certain circumstances.
4. Focal Vitiligo
This is a rarer form of the skin condition whereby the vitiligo is limited to a small area and doesn’t generally spread.
5. Trichome Vitiligo
There is a colourless or white centre surrounded by an area of lighter pigmentation followed by skin pigmentation.
6. Universal Vitiligo
This form of vitiligo is scarce, but those who suffer from it will experience a loss of pigmentation across more than 80% of their bodies.
What Are the Causes of Vitiligo?
There are several possible causes of vitiligo, as well as specific conditions known to trigger vitiligo. Some of the causes are believed to be:
- Autoimmune conditions: With an autoimmune disease, your immune system attacks your body’s healthy cells and tissues. In non-segmental vitiligo, the melanocyte skin cells are attacked and are unable to make melanin. Other autoimmune conditions – such as hyperthyroidism – are also believed to trigger vitiligo.
- Genetics: There is a chance of inheriting vitiligo as 30% of vitiligo conditions run in families.
- Neurogenic factors: Nerve endings of the skin might release a substance known to be toxic to melanocytes.
- Certain stressful events – such as childbirth, severe sun damage, cuts, or chemical exposure – can trigger vitiligo.
- Melanoma or non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma are also known triggers of vitiligo.
Symptoms of Vitiligo
If you experience vitiligo, you will often lose pigmentation, quite quickly, on several areas of the skin. Once the pigmentation has been lost, it’s very rare for your skin pigment to return to the affected areas.
Complications of Vitiligo
Some people who have vitiligo are known to experience some other complications, including:
- Developing another autoimmune disease, such as hypothyroidism, diabetes, Addison’s disease and alopecia areata.
- The lack of melanocytes means that the affected area is much more sensitive to sunlight so, instead of tanning, the skin will burn.
- You might notice abnormalities in the eye retina, and a variation of your eye colour with the iris affected. In some cases, there can be inflammation of the retina or iris, although it shouldn’t impact your vision.
- The emotional and psychological impact of vitiligo are also important factors that need to be considered, and one of the reasons seeking treatment, such as medical tattooing, is so important.
How to Prevent Vitiligo
Unfortunately, there are no ways to prevent vitiligo, and there’s also no way to predict if you will develop vitiligo – even if it is in your family. However, there are many treatment options currently available that can assist in restoring your self-confidence.
Vitiligo Treatment Options
Here is an overview of some of the current treatment options available if you develop vitiligo. You must consult with healthcare professionals first, to confirm the diagnosis and discuss your treatment options.
This is fast becoming one of the most popular treatment options for those with vitiligo, simply because it is incredibly effective and long-lasting. Suki Mezei is a qualified professional who will work closely with you to ensure this is the best treatment option for your needs. Suki will also ensure you fully understand the process and are comfortable from the start.
What is medical tattooing?
Medical tattooing is a cosmetic treatment that effectively covers the affected area. The procedure involves injecting a pigmentation into the superficial skin layers, adding colours to the affected area. Suki draws on years of experience and uses only the latest technology to perfectly match your skin tone to the tattooed area for a completely seamless appearance.
What areas can be treated with a medical tattoo?
Suki Mezei has successfully treated individuals looking to conceal vitiligo scarring with medical tattooing. Some of the most common areas covered include:
Vitiligo on the hands
While some people are happy to live with vitiligo scarring on their hands, others would rather treat this area as it is obvious. Suki can effectively reduce the appearance of scarring by blending with the surrounding pigmentation.
Vitiligo on the face
This is, understandably, a common area for medical tattooing, and while traditional makeup can conceal it to some extent, it can become costly and difficult to maintain. Through medical tattooing, Suki can effectively cover any vitiligo scarring on the face, throat and neck, and you don’t have to worry about it smudging or washing away at any time.
Vitiligo on the body
Some of the common areas requiring medical tattooing as a result of vitiligo include the wrists, underarms, elbows, shins, knees and feet. It gives you the confidence to wear whatever clothing you prefer, whatever the season.
What does medical tattooing involve?
This cosmetic procedure will blend the colour of your pigmented skin into the area affected by vitiligo scarring. It will also soften and flatten the appearance of the skin. If you’re interested in trying medical tattooing, contact Suki Mezei to set up an initial consultation.
Once the treatment has been agreed upon, there are typically between two and four treatments whereby the inert pigment granules are injected into the skin layer. A topical anaesthetic will be used so that you’re kept comfortable throughout the procedure. It’s important to remember that, while the results will be immediately evident, the full results will take some weeks.
What happens post-procedure?
Once the medical tattooing procedure is complete, here are a few things to expect:
- It’s important to avoid extreme temperatures until the area is completely healed. This means no direct sunlight, tanning beds or saunas.
- The tattooed area must not be scratched or rubbed in any way, or you might experience uneven healing.
- As mentioned, the colour will darken over a few weeks before settling.
- There might be some swelling of the treated area, but the practitioner will advise using ice packs or ointments.
Your dermatologist might prescribe some form of topical cream that contains corticosteroids. These will reduce your skin inflammation and can assist in the restoration of pigmentation in some cases. However, prolonged use could result in the skin becoming quite thin, dry and fragile, and cannot be used all over the body.
Also known as light therapy, phototherapy can assist in restoring colour to areas of the skin. You could combine this with a corticosteroid cream. Another popular treatment is laser therapy which is believed to improve skin colour in around 70% of cases. However, the results are not necessarily permanent, lasting about four years.
Because of the risks involved in any surgery, this is generally not the first stop for those with vitiligo. However, it can be an effective option with a success rating of about 90%. The surgery will aim to transplant healthy, pigmented skin to areas of depigmentation. Risks do include infections and changes to the skin texture.
Medical professionals might suggest certain natural products to help restore skin pigmentation, including a mixture of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and enzymes. However, evidence in the effectiveness of natural remedies is not readily available.
If you have vitiligo and are interested in using the professional services of London-based Suki Su Permanent Natural Makeup, then you can be assured you’re in good hands! Suki is a fully-qualified medical tattoo technician with vast experience in the trade. Suki is qualified in the highest level of permanent pigmentation, working in the cosmetics’ field for more than a decade. This gives her the clinical backing, and artistic know-how, to ensure your pigmentation perfectly matches your existing skin tone for a natural finish. Every consultation allows for a customised solution that is discussed thoroughly ahead of time. Book a consultation today to change your life forever!