What is Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation?
Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) is the pigmentation (the marks or spots) left behind after a breakout has healed. This type of pigmentation is part of the skin's natural response to the inflmmation associated with acne, but in my experience treating clients as a Skin Therapist, it seems to cause more frustration and stress than the acne itself!
Men and women are equally susceptible to Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation, and all skin types can experience it. It's also more prevalent in dark skin tones.
What does Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation look like?
Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation usually looks like a flat area of discoloration on the skin. It can appear white, pink, red, purple, brown, or black, depending on your skin tone and the depth of the discoloration.
It doesn't damage the skin, meaning it doesn't cause pitting or raised scars on the skin.
What causes Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation?
The redness and inflammation around an acne breakout can cause trauma to the skin, which leads to the release of inflammatory cells that trigger the melanocytes (pigment cells) to produce extra pigment. Ultraviolet light exposure and certain medications can make the condition worse.
Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation Treatments
There’s no quick fix for post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. It can take at least 30 days of consistent skincare (with sunscreen use!) before you see any progress. Additionally, some spots may look darker before they lighten - that happens because they gradually rise to the skin’s surface as you continue to exfoliate. A consistent skincare routine, incorproating products that not only target the breakouts, but also help treat the post inflammatory pigmentation is key! Plus daily use of sunscreen! Stick with it, and you willl notice results!
If you need assistance finding the best treatment for your post inflammatory hyperpigmentation, we are always here to help too! Reach out to us for Complimentary Skin Advice here.
Here are our Top 6 products to treat Acne and Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation:
- Licorice, Rice and Grapefruit: brightening complex helps even skin tone.
- Rice Bran and Rice Extract: gently microfoliate the skin’s surface to facilitate penetration of the brightening complex.
- Papain and Salicylic Acid: help dissolve excess surface cells.
- Time-Released Retinol (Vitamin A): Helps increase skin resilience and reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation.
- Salicylic Acid: A Beta Hydroxy Acid that stimulates natural exfoliation to reduce breakouts and clear skin.
- Argan, Rosehip Seed, and Golden Jojoba oils: Lightweight, skin-friendly phytoactive lipids soothe and nourish skin.
- Salicylic Acid: a Beta Hydroxy Acid that reduces breakouts to clear skin.
- AGE Bright™ Complex: works with the skin's natural microbiome to promote clearer, brighter skin.
- Terpineol and Thymol help reduce P. acnes and sebum while Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) helps reduce visible skin aging by fading postinflammatory hyperpigmentation.
- Phytoactives from Resurrection Plant: hydrate and smooth skin. The Resurrection Plant is known for its ability to survive extreme dehydration.
- White Shiitake Mushroom: works together with Niacinamide in AGE Bright™ Complex to promote brighter, more even skin tone.
- Light-diffusing Technology: Using Titanium dioxide and a film-forming polymer begins to balance the apprarance of uneven pigmentation within days
- Niacinamide and Hexylresorcinol help fade dark spots for a brighter, more even skin tone
- Shitake Mushroom brightens the skin
- Adaptogenic Ashwagandha smoothes and delivers antioxidant benefits
- Black Curent Oil and Peony Flower smoothes and delivers antioxidant benefits
- Skin-Shielding Actives smoothes and delivers antioxidant benefits
- Salicylic Acid: a Beta Hydroxy Acid, reduces breakouts to clear skin.
- AGE Bright™ Complex: reduces visible skin aging and helps prevent over-drying of the skin.
- Terpineol, Thymol and Niacinamide (Vitamin B3).
- Hexylresorcinol: works synergistically with Niacinamide in AGE Bright™ Complex to fade post-breakout marks (post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation), improving uneven skin tone.
- Brown. Algae with. Vitamins E, B6, B12 and Zinc helps combat oxidative stress from air pollution
- Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) helpes reduce the appearacne of uneven pigmentation and balances skin tone
- Hyaluronic Acid helps reduce water loss and allows the skin to stay hydrated
- Glycogen helps strenghten the skin's moisture barrier, imrpoves skin smoothness and minimises the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
- Licorice Root Extract and Bisabol helps soothe the skin
- Niacinamide and Hexylrescorinol work synergistically to help fade the appearance of dark spots
- Vitamin C delivers antioxidant benefits and brightening properties
- Pumpkin Enzyme smoothes and evens skin texture
- Cranberry and Rasberry Seed Oils help protect against the damaging effects of free radicals from pollutionplus they help to to moisturiser to help the appearance of fine lines.
These products are a guide and we always recommend getting professional advice to ensure your home care routine is right for you. If you're concerned with Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation and you need support and guidance, we are here to help. We offer complimentary Online Skin Consultations via email, zoom or phone. Please reach out to us.
About the Author
My name is Sarah and I am the founder of GLO Skin Body. With over 17 years experience, I believe a professional relationship with your skin therapist is crucial in helping you to achieve your skin care goals and to ensure your skin is always looking and feeling its best. Whether it's in person or through our online support, Im here to guide and support you towards your healthiest skin ever.
On a personal note, I am a Mum of 3 so I understand completely the juggles and balancing of life and family commitments . My goal is to help everyone have an effective and enjoyable home care routine that gets you the results you want...no matter how busy you are!