6. Blister grafting
A slightly less intense surgical option for treating vitiligo is known as blister grafting and involves creating blisters on areas of the skin unaffected through the use of suction. These blisters are then removed and placed on areas of the skin visibly affected by vitiligo. As the blisters heal, they have the potential to return color to the discolored areas of the skin.
As with skin grafting, blister grafting can result in a number of nasty side effects, from permanent scars to rough skin and odd colorization of the skin. For these reasons, blister grafting is rarely a physician’s first choice for treating vitiligo.
The opposite approach of depigmentation, which involves removing the pigment from the skin unaffected by vitiligo, is micropigmentation. Popularly known as tattooing, this strategy involves surgically implanting pigments under the skin, artificially creating the appearance of darker skin that, ideally, is closer to the skin’s original color.
Micropigmentation is a difficult and costly procedure, however. It can be challenging to precisely match the skin’s original color, while the procedure itself has the potential to trigger a new outbreak of vitiligo. So far, tattooing has proven most successful in limited applications and in the skin around the face.