Cosmetic tattoos can be used to “permanently” camouflage small areas of vitiligo such as around the face (lips, mouth, eyes) and hands but only in patients whose vitiligo is localised and has been stable (that is, not spreading) for many years.
Cosmetic tattoos are iron oxides available in over fifteen different shades of colour. The appropriate colour is injected into the dermis (second layer of the skin).
Cosmetic tattoos produce superior results in darker skin patients, but the main determinant of success is reliant upon the skills of the cosmetic tattoo injector. As the injected colours are broken down by the body over time repeat treatment is required every two to four years.
Strict sterile technique must be ensured to prevent the risk of transmissible disease such as hepatitis and HIV.