Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation Causes, Treatment & Pictures


What is post inflammatory hyperpigmentation, and what causes it? What is the most effective treatment? How do you get rid of hyperpigmentation naturally?

The skin can be irritated by a cut, burn, abrasion, psoriasis, minor injuries, pimples and even laser treatment. When this happens, the melonocytes in the affected area react by producing melanin the protein that gives the color of your skin. As a result, you may appear to have dark patches on your face or body, darker that your normal skin tone.

Post inflammaroty hyperpigmentation
Post inflammaroty hyperpigmentation

These dark patches in the medical world are referred to as post inflammatory hyperpigmentation or PIH if you like. They are embarrassing and a source of low self-esteem for many especially if they appear on the face. You may be one of those affected and are seeking hyperpigmentation treatment, which is available not in one single formula.

You may have to use different products, home remedies and even resolve for surgical or non-surgical procedures. PIH may resolve by itself, however, for cosmetic reasons you may want to find a faster solution. In this article, you will learn the various causes and how to get rid of PIH at home naturally. You can also choose the best treatment from a list of options.

Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation Causes – Causes of Dark Patches

Hyperpigmentation causes range from sun exposure to picking the inflamed spot. If you have a lesion or bruise and expose it to the sun, it will heal leaving a dark mark behind. Furthermore, if you have the habit of staying in the sun without or with inadequate sun block, you will definitely get pigmentation.

Whenever you have a bruise or lesion, it is important to avoid picking at it, as it will heal leaving an embarrassing discoloration. Worse still, it could leave a scar, which is more difficult to get rid of unlike hyperpigmentation.

Other PIH causes take into account your ethnic background. If you are from African, Mediterranean, Asian and Latin background, you are more predisposed to get hyperpigmentation from any inflammation on your skin. In fact, if you come from these groups, you should think carefully before getting any laser treatment because it will definitely leave patches.

Not all post inflammatory hyperpigmentation come from zits, burns, friction, cuts, minor injuries or laser treatment. Sometimes skin disorders such as fungal infections may leave you with PIH.

Is Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation Permanent?

Although PIH is not permanent, it can take many months to clear. It all depends on how deep the inflammation was. There are two types of inflammation dermal and epidermal and both of these leave you with hyperpigmentation.

Is post inflammatory hyperpigmentation permanent? Epidermal pigmentation, which appears on the surface of the skin, clears faster than the dermal kind. Therefore, PIH is not permanent, but may take time to clear. Usually dermal discoloration takes two to several years to clear, while the epidermal kind may take 6-12 months.

Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation Treatment –How to Treat PIH

Treating PIH takes various treatments, which can be cheap or expensive. The best way on how to treat it is by starting with the cheap methods before moving on to the most expensive. You may find that some cheap treatment is just what you need to have an even skin tone. Furthermore, it helps if you can just part with a few dollars.

Apply Broad Spectrum Sun Block

Apply broad spectrum sunblock
Apply broad spectrum sunblock

Before you get to any form of treatment, you should ensure that you have a bottle or tube of good sun block with you. It should have an SPF factor of 30 or higher to protect your skin with PIH from further darkening. Exposing the marks to sunlight without sun block can also render them permanent. Apart from investing in a sun block that protects you from UVA and UVB rays, you should apply and reapply every two hours. You should do so regardless of the weather.

Use Home Remedies

Most people will try home remedies before even going to the stores to buy fade creams. Home remedies make use of natural ingredients, which are harmless to the skin. If you are dealing with hyperpigmentation on face even the better when you make use of home remedies that do not contain harmful ingredients that can give you a fresh breakout. Additionally, you make use of what you already have in the refrigerator, kitchen or bathroom cabinets. This gives you no added cost at all.

There are many helpful concoctions your can mix in your home to treat PIH. Even so, do not try them all at once. It is good to try one at a time for several months before discarding it as not useful in your treatment. I will provide you with recipes you can use at home to get rid of PIH at the end of this article.

Apply OTC Creams

Another post inflammatory hyperpigmentation treatment is the use of creams. The best hyperpigmentation products can be found over the counter. However, you should read the ingredients label carefully to ensure that you are not getting harmful components in your tube or jar. Some of the skin tone saving ingredients that you should look for includes:

Skinceuticals cream for hyperpigmentation
  • Mequinol an alternative and derivative of hydroquinone , it is less irritating than hydroquinone
  • N-acetyl Glucosamine
  • Licorice extracts
  • Kojic acid
  • Arbutin/bearberry
  • Mulberry extracts
  • Mandelic acid
  • Vitamin A & C
  • Soy
  • Niacinamide
  • Beta and alpha hydroxyl acids e.g. glycolic, lactic, salicylic etc

Chemical Peels

Chemical peels are also effective in getting rid of dark spots on face after an inflammation. However, before making use of one at home or at a dermatologist’s office, ensure that you acne, bruise or burn has healed completely. This will prevent you from going through vicious cycle of healing the inflammation and removing the marks.

Laser Treatment for PIH

Depending on how deep the mark is on your skin, you may also have to resort to expensive laser treatment. However, if you have black skin, think carefully about getting such a procedure, it could leave you with worse marks than you are trying to treat. Furthermore, do ensure that you find an qualified and experienced surgeon or dermatologist to carry out the treatment without the risk of more discoloration.

Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation Pictures

Most people confuse PIH with scars. While scars are permanent and may never fade, PIH spots do fade with time. The fading timeline depends on their depth. For over the surface spots, they may take up to a year, while dermal spots may take two years or longer. Looking at the PIH pictures, you should also be able to tell the difference from scars.

PIH spots are flat and could be of different colors including red, black, brown, purple or pink depending on your skin tone. They are not raised or indented. They are of the same texture with the rest of your skin.

How to Get Rid of Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation

Most creams may disappoint when it comes to getting rid of PIH. When it comes to laser treatments on the other hand, they can be quite expensive and yet they require several sessions before you can see actual results. In this case, home remedies would be the best option as long as you are willing to be patient and consistent in your applications.

How to fade spots, using home remedies require the use of natural and cheap recipes. Most treatments work, but they should not be used without sunscreen during the day, as some of these are rich in Ascorbic acid, which render the skin photosensitive.

Recipe 1: Almonds Paste

Almond paste lightens hyperpigmentation marks
Almond paste lightens hyperpigmentation marks

Take a handful of unshelled almonds and crush them into a paste. Apply the paste on the areas of skin with spots and leave it there for 15 minutes before rinsing off.

Recipe 2: Green tea

Boil some green loose tealeaves in water and leave the water to cool. Apply the tea on skin with spots and leave it for 10-15 minutes before rinsing off.

Recipe 3: crushed mint leaves mixed with cucumber and egg white

Green tea remedy for post inflamatory hyperpigmentation
Green tea remedy

Apply this mixture on the skin with spots and leave it for 20 minutes or until it dries off. Rinse off with warm water, you may want to use a mild soap to get the smell of egg white off your skin.

You can also make use of citrus fruits and such as grapes, kiwis and raspberries. Similarly, you can make use of mashed papaya and leave it on skin for 15-20 minutes before rinsing off.

Use any one of these recipes for a fixed period; say 8 weeks before trying a different recipe if the current one does not show results.