What is Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation?

What is Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation and What Causes It?

If you’ve been diagnosed with post inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), or you have a dark mark on the body related to a previous injury, then this page is for you. PIH is a very common condition that differs from other pigmentation problems like melasma and sun spots.

What is Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation and What Causes It?

Los Angeles brown acne scar removal before and after pictures

Los Angeles brown acne scar removal before and after pictures

PIH is a temporary darkening of your skin that can happen after an injury (cuts, scrapes, etc.), irritation (acne, rashes, bug bites, etc.), or after a procedure like laser resurfacing. If you’re prone to developing PIH, you probably know it already in that anytime you have ab injury, it turns dark in the area.  PIH can also include shades of red and this is mot common in lighter skin types.

While we mentioned that it is temporary, PIH can last anywhere from a few weeks to several months or even a year!

Who Gets Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation?

While anyone can develop PIH, it is more common if you have a medium to darker skin type (color).

What Can I Do to Avoid Developing Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation?

The short answer is to avoid anything that traumatizes or irritates your skin. This includes harsh or irritating skin care products.  You should also avoid anything that produces constant friction on your skin. Don’t pick at acne bumps or insect bites, and make sure that you always wear a good sunscreen.

Another important point to mention is that you should only choose licensed and experienced practitioners to perform any laser or other potentially irritating skin procedures like chemical peels and microdermabrasion on your skin. Ultimately, despite even taking all these precautions, you can still get PIH if you are predisposed to it.

What Treatment Options Do I Have for Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation?

PIH is treatable! Many times, your own body can fade the darkened areas over time. But when this natural process just takes too long, there are a few products and treatments that can speed it along. Laser treatments are one safe and effective option that work for many people with PIH. There are lasers that work on the darkest skin type, and often, treatment is completely customizable to your skin and specific needs.  In addition, topical medication such as hydroquinone can fade PIH as well.  Give us a call to talk more about your dark scars.

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