What is Vitiligo?
Vitiligo is a hereditary, skin-lightening condition that many experts consider to be an autoimmune disease. The rate at which the skin loses pigment is unpredictable and varies from person to person.
Vitiligo is considered a pigmentation disorder, similar to hypopigmentation -A condition in which the melanocytes, the pigment cells of the skin, are destroyed, causing affected areas to turn pale. Often seen as patches of white skin. However, Vitiligo may appear as lesions of the skin that have less pigment, often appearing white. There are multiple patterns in which Vitiligo may occur, including generalized, segmental, and focal. Limiting sun exposure and wearing sunscreen may help reduce the appearance of Vitiligo.
Symptoms can include:
Patchy loss of skin color
Premature whitening or graying of the hair on your scalp, eyelashes, eyebrows, or beard
Loss of color in the tissues inside of your mouth and nose
Loss of or change in color of the retina
Vitiligo can start at any time regardless of race, gender, or age. White patches typically begin to appear between the ages of 20 and 30. However, there are cases when Vitiligo starts to manifest itself in young children. The condition doesn’t seem to affect one part of the body more than others and can appear all over or only on specific parts of your body.
Unfortunately, there is no known cure for Vitiligo. However, although there is no cure yet, you do have some options. Here at NudeTatu, we cover Vitiligo with a process called micropigmentation, also known as skin camouflage.
What is Micropigmentation/ Skin Camouflage?
Vitiligo micropigmentation/ Skin camouflage is where we implant pigment directly into the lighter patches of skin, so they blend right in with your darker skin tones. It can be applied to the face, hands, or elsewhere on the body.
How is pigment deposited into the skin for Vitiligo? Colors are custom blended for each area to match your skin tones. The pigment is then deposited into the lighter areas of the skin, similar to a traditional tattoo. However, unlike conventional tattoos, we use skin tone pigment designed just for this and other cosmetic procedures.
At the beginning of each session, we will evaluate the skin and custom blend a color to best match your natural skin tone. Then, your treatment, the custom pigment blends, are meticulously charted and photographed for future sessions and reference.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT? What is the process, and how does it work?
Camouflaging Vitiligo requires multiple sessions depending upon the size of the area to be treated. There will be some temporary swelling and redness right after your treatment. This may take a couple of hrs to several days to disappear depending on which area of the body, how much pigment is applied, and the skin's general health. It takes around 3-4 weeks for the pigment to settle into the skin, with each session being scheduled within that same time interval. Averaging 4 sessions per treatment area. This is an average. Some people might have full results in as little as 2 sessions, and others may need 8 sessions.
WHY DO I NEED MULTIPLE SESSIONS? Multiple sessions are needed to blend the color precisely. During each session, the pigment is blended into the skin in layers. Because some of the pigment exfoliates after each session, a series of sessions are necessary to build the color to match the natural skin color. Treatment area size also determines the amount of time required to implant pigment. Larger areas require multiple sessions simply due to their size.
How closely can the color be matched? The goal is to match the color over the course of your treatments so that no one can tell that you ever had Vitiligo. Color matching is achieved through the series of sessions during which the color is evaluated, and your custom color mix is fine-tuned as needed. Between two and four weeks after each procedure, the skin exfoliates, and the color settles a bit; we re-evaluate and adjust in a subsequent session as needed.
Is Treatment Painful?
The level of discomfort varies from person to person, depending on what area of the body is being camouflaged. We always use a strong topical numbing cream to help relieve any uncomfortableness you may typically feel. Most People tend to agree treatment has very minimal to no pain. Your skin may be slightly warm during and after treatment, almost like a slight sunburn.
You may experience redness, itchiness, and mild irritation for 3-4 days after treatment. We will give you aftercare instructions and cream to use while at home.