Do you have blemishes on your skin as a result of past acne or an injury to the skin’s surface? This is known as post inflammatory hyperpigmentation, or PIH for short.
While PIH is seen mostly in people with darker complexions, the condition does not discriminate and can affect both genders, young and old.
Depending on the depth of the scarring tissue, PIH may disappear on its own, but at a slow rate of over a two-year period. PIH marks aggravated by excessive sun exposure may take more than 10 years before fading begins.
Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation treatment is available with an effective skincare routine and with the help of a professional skin specialist.
Below you will find more information about post inflammatory hyperpigmentation, the root causes, and some effective treatments to correct the discolouration of the skin.
What Is Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation?
PIH is recognized as dark spots or marks seen on the skin surface after a pimple or injury has cleared up. It can be described as the body’s natural response to inflammation as it tries to heal the injured area. When the skin cells become damaged, our body produces extra melanin, the same pigment that dictates the colour of our eyes, hair, and skin.
This marking can affect either, or both, the epidermis and the deeper skin layers known as the dermis. The darker spots can appear black, brown, purple, red, or white depending on the depth and the skin tone.
Causes of Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation
Any form of damage to the skin cells causes the body to mass produce melanin. Some common causes include pimples, bug bites, rashes, sunburns, razor bumps, burns, allergic reactions. Skin conditions such as lupus, eczema and psoriasis can also cause PIH to exist for years.
PIH can be caused by medical and cosmetic treatments such as laser and light therapy, cryotherapy, chemical facial peels, ultrasounds, and radiation therapy.
Effective Non-Surgical Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation Treatments
With post inflammatory hyperpigmentation treatment, the type of therapy used depends on the source and the severity of the discolouration. The cause of the PIH may need to be addressed first before any treatment is sought. For example, a severe case of acne would need to be treated before the hyperpigmentation can be handled.
For some cases, the PIH can fade over time, usually taking up to two years. For those who either do not want to play the wait-and-see game, there are some treatments that may help lessen the appearance.
While chemical peels have been known to cause PIH in some cases, the therapy is an effective treatment in most hyperpigmentation cases when directed by a skin specialist. These peels are used as an intensive treatment tool in PIH conditions that appear more frequent.
A chemical peel is used to exfoliate the darkened areas caused by PIH. As peels can be customized for the skin type, PIH cases use glycolic (alpha hydroxy) or salicylic (beta hydroxy) acid to target the spots.
Unlike most skin conditions, PIH can require several treatment using a chemical peel for maximum effectiveness. Depending on the severity or depth of the discolouration, four to six separate sessions may be recommended. There will be a waiting time of three to four weeks between each chemical peel procedure.
Spectra Laser Peel
Known as the Hollywood Spectra Laser Peel, this treatment is the equivalent of having four chemical peels at once. The cost-effective treatment can be used for post acne hyperpigmentation as commonly seen with PIH cases. This form of treatment enhances the skin texture as it evens out the skin tone.
Carbon-based, the Spectra Laser Peel targets the melanin trapped within the skin cells to aid in the elimination of the excess melanin by the immune system. This form of therapy is best left to the professionals as the heat application requires precise handling to prevent further damage to the skin cells, which can aggravate and cause PIH.
Spectra Laser Peels are a commonly used treatment for PIH mainly because they are a painless and effective option which requires no downtime or long recovery phases.
Skin specialists use microneedling to induce injury to the skin surface to stimulate healing. Using tiny needles to begin the natural occurring healing process, the deeper skin cells, in the dermis, begin to rebuild.
As a PIH skin treatment, microneedling can be used to promote the development and growth of new skin cells to diminish the appearance of discolouration. As with most PIH treatments, the bonus effect of having tighter, firmer skin provides a smoother complexion with the discolouration therapy.
As with chemical peels, PIH can be a side effect of having microneedling therapy. Make sure to seek a highly-trained professional to prevent inflammation from occurring.
A controlled microdermabrasion therapy can be used to treat inflammatory hyperpigmentation cases seen with PIH. This treatment exfoliates the skin cells, removing the topmost layer of the skin to eradicate the dead skin cells.
Both the options of original crystal microdermabrasion and the latest technology of diamond-tip microdermabrasion can offer similar results. The advanced science of using a diamond-tip can reduce discomfort.
Book an Appointment at the Anti Aging Toronto Clinic
The skincare specialists at the Anti Aging Toronto Clinic offer various treatments and therapies to combat PIH and other skin-related conditions. We provide all of our clients excellent customer service with the highest standards of skincare treatment available. Our team members are trained and certified in the latest advanced technology to ensure you receive the best service and care. Check out our monthly promotions here or contact us today to book a consultation.