Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) are the dark spots that are found around acne blemishes. At times the marks, caused by PIH, can be fairly light and even unnoticeable and other times they leave behind large dark spots. This type of condition can also be caused by dry skin. Usually, severely dry skin can be a result of an acne treatment, especially if you aren’t using a moisturizer following the application of an acne fighting product. Most acne care products will contain a large content of salicylic acid or alcohol.
What Causes Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation?
The skin has its own immune system, which reacts to the invasion or stimulation of the skin. At times, these responses can be helpful and at other times they will just contribute to more problems. When the skin is inflamed due to dryness or acne, certain substances will be released by the body, such as leukotrienes, prostaglandins or arachidonic acid. These substances will increase and speed up the functioning of the melanin producing cells located in the epidermis, which will then release more melanin. In addition, the ability to transfer the pigment between the cells will also be boosted. This is what causes patches of discoloration.
People who have darker complexions will suffer from PIH more commonly than individuals with fair skin, but anyone can be affected by this condition. Eventually, these spots can fade on their own; however this process can take months or years. If you don’t have the patience to wait for these dark spots to fade then you can visit a dermatologist who can help you decide on an effective treatment.
However visiting a dermatologist, plus the methods they offer, can be very expensive and the treatments they use don’t always work for everyone. As an alternative option, there are natural remedies which are safe and inexpensive. Some of these remedies can get very quick results, with a noticeable improvement in just a few days. You can learn more about these natural solutions by reading our article here : How to Lighten Skin with Home Remedies
One simple thing you can do to speed up the fading process, is to avoid excessive sun exposure. UV rays can darken these spots and extend their stay on your skin. If you do venture outdoors on a sunny day, be sure that you apply a generous layer of sunscreen with a high SPF.
Cosmetic Procedures to Treat and Prevent PIH
You can also experience some results by using a chemical peel. Chemical peels are designed to remove the outermost layer of skin, leaving behind fresh and blemish free new skin. PIH can also be treated with ointments and lightening creams that contain ingredients such as arbutin and kojic acid, which will help to fade the discolored patches of skin. Your physician may also offer to prescribe hydroquinone, a medication that works by inhibiting pigmentation in the skin. However caution is needing when using an ointment containing hydroquinone, as there are now concerns regarding its long term use.
Over time, and with proper treatment, the patches of skin discoloration will fade entirely. To prevent further episodes it’s important that you treat the underlying condition. Whether you suffer from excessively dry skin or acne, your dermatologist will be able to provide treatments and medications that can help to prevent further acne breakouts from occurring, thus preventing more post inflammatory hyperpigmentation problems.