Skin Grafting & White Patch Removal

Skin grafting refers to removal of a patch of skin by surgery from one location and transplanted to another location in the body. White patches are known as Leucoderma in medical terms whereas white spots are known as Vitiligo. Leucoderma generally happens due to severe trauma, burns, cuts and deep skin infections. It is also hereditary in nature. Common aspect between both of the problems is the reason of their appearance i.e. scarcity of melanin pigment produced by melanocytes. Secondly, both the problems are treated only when the white patches or white spots stop spreading on their own.

Causes of Leucoderma:

  • Allergy from chemicals.
  • Sudden atmospheric changes.
  • Lesser Immunity.
  • Regular work in extremely hot conditions.
  • Due to an allergic reaction from a deodorant or perfume.
  • Accidental as cut or burn.
  • Frequent temperature variation.

Choice of therapy for Leucoderma depends on various factors like:

  • Location of the white patches.
  • Number of white patches.
  • Size
  • Area on which they are spread.

In cases where affected areas are limited in leucoderma, generally, the following two processes are adopted:

Skin Grafting:

It refers to the removal of a patch of skin by surgery from one location and transplanting it to affected location in the body. Generally, skin is removed from an area that remains hidden by clothing.

Skin graft is generally recommended in following cases:

  • Very large wounds.
  • Surgeries that require skin grafts to heal.
  • Skin cancer surgery.
  • When the surgeon is not able to close a wound properly.
  • Varied ulcers that do not heal for quite long.
  • Burns
  • Skin loss due to infection.
  • Cosmetic surgeries where there has been skin loss or skin damage.

Procedure:

  • Generally surgery is performed while the patient is under local anesthesia which indicates that patient would be unconscious and would not feel pain during the surgery.
  • Pigmented skin is taken from any area on the body called the donor site where epidermis (top layer) and dermis (second layer) from the donor site is extracted.
  • Skin graft is transplanted to de-pigmented area by applying gentle pressure from a well-padded dressing or bysmall stitches or staples. Donor site would be properly sterile wrapped for almost a week’s time.

Melanocyte Transplantation:

Melanocytes, melanin pigment producing cells, are removed from pigmented area and transplanted immediately to de-pigmented area.

Treatment Period:

A normal procedure should ideally last between 1 to 2 hours and approximately three weeks for full recovery.

Post- Surgical Care:

All post- surgical care should be taken into consideration as prescribed by the surgeon.
Exposure of operated area to sun should be avoided completely.