You wake up one day and see that you have a pimple.

Bleh.

Perhaps you throw some acne cream on it or use a home remedy.

Either way, it gets rid of it.

However, you notice that there’s a dark spot where the blemish originally was and it’s having trouble going away.

What gives?

Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

That’s the scientific term for acne marks which are left after the skin tries to heal itself when you experience blemishes.

While the acne is gone, you now have an even bigger problem.

Don’t worry, though. That’s what we’re here for.

Keep reading if you want to learn how to get rid of post inflammatory hyperpigmentation, what causes it, and other critical information you need to know to solve this skin condition once and for all.

Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation causes

There’s no single reason why someone will experience post inflammatory hyperpigmentation or PIH for short. The following are some of of the main culprits, though:

  1. Acne: When bacteria forms in the pore of the skin, it can cause an infection which becomes inflamed. That is acne. Once the acne has healed, the skin will produce more pigment in that area due to the inflammation. Some people find that if they lave their acne alone that marks won’t appear, so keep that in mind. Furthermore, you will definitely increase the chances of acne marks and scars if you pick at blemishes.
  2. Eczema: We’ve touched on the topic of eczema many times on our blog because it’s a skin condition which affects a lot of people. For those that don’t know, eczema is an immune disorder in which the skin attacks itself causing red, scaley, and dry patches. Often they bleed, ooze, and look very nasty. Since the symptoms of eczema are so harsh, it’s not uncommon to experience marks on the skin after patches have healed.
  3. Incorrect treatment: Similar to as if you tried popping acne and it didn’t turn out well, other forms of treatment done incorrectly can cause lots of problems for the skin. Whether its microdermabrasion or using a derma roller, the excess trauma can often cause acne marks afterward.

Now that you understand what causes PIH, let’s touch on some other questions you might have before talking about treatment.

Is post inflammatory hyperpigmentation permanent?

No, PIH isn’t always a permanent situation. It depends on how the acne mark was caused in the first place, how severe it is, and your overall skin type. In most cases you can use the various treatment options we will be touching on later to fade PIH completely. Whether it takes days, weeks, or months to get rid of your marks, it is absolutely possible. At a minimum, you will see some form of improvement.

How long does post inflammatory hyperpigmentation last?

PIH typically lasts for several weeks to months depending on how early you begin treating it. Some people report acne marks lasting years with or without treatment, as well. It’s hard to say an exact amount of time your case of PIH will last, as you will have to begin treating it and see for yourself.

Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation treatment options

If you’re interested in learning how to treat post inflammatory hyperpigmentation, you’re in luck. Below are some of the most effective methods used for reducing hyperpigmentation caused by acne. Try them individually or in combination if you believe it will speed up the effects.

Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation creams

There are specially made creams for PIH which use ingredients like salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, retinol, among others to shed away dead skin cells, brighten skin tone, and promote the growth of new skin cells. These benefits and similar ones fade acne marks and scars before your eyes and are one of the best ways to start seeing results. It’s best to research into every PIH cream because there are potential side effects like itching, redness, and similar. They are typically applied once per day but some may suggest that you apply it more often.

Check out these two skin cream reviews we did that can drastically help PIH:

  1. Revitol Scar Cream Review | Benefits, Ingredients, And More
  2. Revitol Anti Aging Cream Review – Does it Work?

Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation laser treatment

The most expensive and high end treatment you can get for hyperpigmentation is definitely lasering. A medical professional will use a special laser which zaps away hyperpigmentation by just going beneath the skin. The laser can be adjusted to penetrate the skin in various amounts depending on how severe the acne mark is, too. This is guaranteed to cure hyperpigmentation if other treatment options don’t give you the results you want. Be warned that it can be quite harsh on the skin and costs a hefty fee.

Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation chemical peel

Chemical peels are commonly used to get rid of post inflammatory hyperpigmentation and acne scars. You have two routes you can take with chemical peels, as well. The first route is via using an at-home peel that you can purchase online or from a physical store. These are effective and safe but don’t have the same potential as ones you receive from a dermatologist via a prescription. Some will even require you to book an appointment and they will perform the peel on your face on your behalf to ensure safety and effectiveness.

Your diet and PIH

Yes, believe it or not, your diet plays a big role in your overall skin health. Heck, it could be one of the main reasons you’re experiencing PIH in the first place. What we mean by this is that a poor diet can cause acne and promotes inflammation in the body which makes the blemish worse, slows healing, and forces the skin to create more pigmentation.

Cleaning up your diet will prevent PIH from forming again and can help with current marks. Here are some diet tips with that being said:

  • Drink more water: Keep your skin hydrated from inside out by drinking plenty of water every day. Try mixing lemon, cucumber, or another healthy ingredient into the water for added benefits.
  • Drop the sugar: Refined sugar causes your insulin to spike which in turns tells your body to produce more sebum oil. This can clog pores and make more acne. Additionally, acne inflames the body which will make any skin condition worse.
  • No fast food: Whether it’s french fries, pizza, or a hamburger, all sorts of fast and processed food are very bad for the skin. Once again it will cause inflammation and heaps of other problems that can lead or worsen PIH.
  • Vitamin E: This can be found in dark leafy green vegetables and helps heal the skin, keep it hydrated, and fights off free radicals.
  • Collagen: This is an amino acid which acts as the building block for skin. Taking in enough collagen every day through eggs, milk, and bone broth will help keep skin firm and healthy.
  • Try drinking green tea: This tasty hot drink is loaded with antioxidants which reduces redness, inflammation, and helps the skin heal from the inside

Wrapping up treating post inflammatory hyperpigmentation

Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation, or PIH for short, is a skin condition in which more pigment is produced in an area which previously had a blemish. It is the skin’s reaction to inflammation and healing the area which unfortunately results in dark spots which often look worse than the original spot.

While it is caused by acne, picking at blemishes, or treatments not done correctly, there are many options for treating this condition. The first of which is by using a PIH cream. These are formulated to reveal the younger-looking skin underneath, build new skin cells, and smooth out skin texture. Similarly, you can try a chemical peel whether it’s one done at home or at a dermatologist office.

The most expensive but often most effective option is laser treatment. This is done in a medical professional’s office and can literally zap away marks on your skin.

Additionally, we suggest that you work on eating a healthy diet because it plays a large role in preventing and helping current cases of PIH.