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All You Need To Know About Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation

What is Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation?

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, for short PIH, can occur after your skin’s suffered from inflammation or trauma. It can happen after acne, eczema, allergic reactions, burns, or even after chemical peels, laser resurfacing and retinoid treatments if home care advice is not followed.

PIH is a common issue for all skin types. Most often you’ll see PIH as flat pink/brown marks where the inflammation occurred.

Depending on your skincare routine and your natural healing process it can go away in a few weeks… or it can hang around for a few years!

How to Prevent PIH?

Like many things in the realm of skin care, prevention is key. Here’s what you can do to

reduce PIH:

Don’t pick at your skin

Picking at spots may make them go away faster if you’re lucky, but it also increases inflammation. This will eventually cause more PIH than you would’ve gotten originally. Instead, use gentle options to help speed up dead skin removal but also encourage healing such as a Hydrafacial followed by LED light therapy.

Be cautious

Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and retinol have incredible anti-ageing benefits, but if they are not used correctly or overused they can begin to irritate your skin and compromise your barrier, which induces inflammation. Start slowly on actives, only introduce one product at a time, and make sure you slow down immediately if irritation occurs. This is especially important if you have sensitive skin.

Always use sun protection

UV exposure increases pigmentation, and PIH is no exception. Use a broad spectrum sunscreen with both UVA and UVB protection every day to speed up the fading of your PIH. Use hats and seek shade to block out direct sunshine on problem areas.

Healing ingredients

Don’t try to scrub away at PIH marks! You’ll only make the inflammation worse. Instead, use a topical product that specifically targets excess pigment. When it comes to skincare i’ve found the most beneficial ingredients speed up PIH marks are Vitamin C, Licorice Extract, Bilbury/Arbutin Extract, Retinol and of course SPF.



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