Post Inflammatory Pigmentation (PIH)

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Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation

Perhaps you had a pimple that you couldn’t resist popping. Maybe you scraped your skin or burned yourself on the stove. Whatever the cause, you can’t help but notice that you still have a little dark spot weeks later. That’s post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), the term doctors use to describe the flat dark spots and discolorations on the skin following inflammation or injury.

Before & After Photos

Frequently asked questions

A consultation with one of our experienced anti-aging skin specialist will uncover which of the following types of hyperpigmentation you have, and what the best course of treatment will be:

> Sun spots, age spots and liver spots: No matter what you call them, these common-but-pesky marks generally appear as spots of hyperpigmentation on areas of the skin that are frequently exposed to the sun, such as the hands and face.

> Melasma: Thought to be caused by hormonal changes, this condition, which often develops during pregnancy, appears as areas of hyperpigmentation, dark skin or discolouration, on the face, abdomen or other parts of the body.

> Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation: These dark and discoloured spots can appear following injury or trauma to the skin – think acne that’s healed, rashes (such as psoriasis and eczema) that may darken the skin, or a poorly administered chemical peel or laser treatment. Even seemingly innocuous activities like leg waxing and electrolysis can cause melanin-producing melanocyte cells to overreact.

 

PIH is a temporary condition that can start with a pimple, rash, scrape, burn, or any other type of skin trauma that causes inflammation. As a result of this inflammation, the skin over-produces a skin pigment called melanin. This extra melanin pigment gets deposited in the skin and is what causes the dark patches to remain long after the initial injury or inflammation has healed.

PIH can often fade on its own, although it may take weeks, months, or even years to do so. Sun exposure without sunscreen or sun protection can make PIH worse by stimulating cells in the skin to produce additional pigment, which is why it’s important to wear sunscreen or avoid sun exposure when you have a skin injury.

 

Post-inflammatory pigmentation spots can fade on their own over time. However, this process can take weeks to months, and sometimes years.

Fortunately, there are many treatment options for PIH, including:

  • Topical creams: Topical creams inhibit the formation of additional melanin and promote new skin growth, accelerating how quickly PIH spots fade.
  • Sun protection: UV rays cause certain cells in your skin to create additional pigment, making PIH worse. Sun protective measures can improve the effectiveness of treatment as well as speed up how quickly PIH spots fade on their own.
  • Lasers: Laser treatments use precise, focused beams of light energy to damage pigment-producing cells and fade PIH spots.
  • Chemical Peels:  Chemical peels work by ‘peeling off’ the topmost layer of skin, which includes PIH spots.

Everyone’s skin is different, and what works for one person may make PIH worse in another. It’s important to have a consultation to determine the best treatment for you

With sun damage, the number one cause of hyperpigmentation, you stand the best chance of slowing the accumulation of brown spots by protecting your skin from overexposure. Cover up with protective clothing, always use a sun screen or physical sun block such as Colorescience and, as much as you can, stay out of the sun for prolonged periods of time. Also wise: getting started on a medical grade skin care system, which includes products that a) introduce age-appropriate combinations of skin protection b) strengthen the skin’s barrier function and c) increase the body’s natural wound-healing response and produce collagen.

Our Bluestone Sunshields also provide great UV protection to inhibit PIH from forming with any possible sun exposure post treatment.

 

PicoWay is an advanced treatment based on the latest picosecond laser technology, capitalising on the predominant effect of the photoacoustic over the photothermal effectof traditional laser treatments. It is truly versatile and completely customisable for different skin types, offering a fast and effective treatment with relatively low to no downtime, minimal discomfort, and high patient satisfaction. The results may be noticed even after a single treatment.

PicoWay’s unique mode of action is based on delivering ultra-short picosecond pulses of energy to the tissue. These bursts of energy create a photoacoustic impact which breaks up the target pigment into smaller, more easily eliminated particles. Less heat is generated, resulting in fewer side effects and minimal discomfort. Even the smallest pigment fragments will shatter, resulting in more complete clearance.

If you are concerned with your brown spots, talk to one of our staff members today about this targeted solution for hyperpigmentation issues.

Since PIH occurs after skin injury or inflammation, anyone can get this condition regardless of gender or age. Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation can develop in all skin types, but it can be more common and more intense in people who have darker skin tones.

Methods we use to treat

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Products & Treatments we offer

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