What you should know 

Micropigmentation is a technique in which minute, metabolically inert pigment granules are implanted below the epidermis for cosmetic and/or corrective enhancement. Typically two to four treatments are necessary. The process can be performed in a doctor’s office in less than two hours. Topical anesthetics are sometimes applied to keep the patient comfortable during the procedure. Pigments are individually mixed to match the patient’s skin. Results can be seen immediately, though full end results are not apparent for about three weeks.

Before (top) and after (bottom) excimer laser treatment.

Before (top) and after (bottom) excimer laser treatment.

Photo courtesy of Pear E. Grimes, MD - Los Angeles, California

Micropigmentation for Vitiligo

Micropigmentation involves implanting small particles of natural pigment under the skin similar to a tattoo. The procedure is sometimes called ‘permanent cosmetics.

Possible Risks

As with any treatment, there are risks associated with it, though they are minimized in the hands of a qualified ASDS dermatologist. These include:

  •     Infection
  •     Removal problems
  •     Allergic reactions
  •     Inflammation
  •     Keloid formation
  •     MRI complications

Why choose micropigmentation for vitiligo?

Micropigmentation can:

  •     Help blend the color of vitiligo to more closely match that of surrounding skin.
  •     Breaks up the texture of the vitiligo skin by softening and flattening it.


What to expect after the procedure

  • Swelling in the treated area that can be treated with ice packs and ointments.
  • Improved appearance in treated area within a few days.
  • Full healing of treated area in four to six weeks.
  • Follow-up treatment may be necessary in some cases.

How to prepare for the procedure

Before the procedure, an ASDS dermatologist will review the patient’s medical history and conduct a physical exam. This is the time for the doctor and patient to discuss expectations, potential risks and outcomes of the procedure. It’s important to remember that micropigmentation skill levels vary widely. Patients should ask for references.