Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH)

Pigmentation on Face

What is Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH)?

PIH is also called Pigmented Scars. Any time your skin gets injured or becomes red (sun, heat, acne, laser treatments that peel off the skin, or misuse/overuse of products such as Retin A, Hydroquinone, home chemical peels, and bleaching creams), the skin heals by inflammation. Inflammation causes melanocyte (spot producing cells) to send melanin or pigment to the skin surface to protect it. This leaves spots such as acne spots, or blotchiness that looks like a patch throughout areas of the face. Sometimes PIH can mimic melasma. Many people who attempt to treat melasma after various aggressive peeling lasers and chemical peels may actually have PIH resting on top of their melasma. Therefore, both exist together. The good news is both can be and are treated the same way.


PIH is not as deep as melasma and can therefore respond to Spectral Q-switch laser faster than melasma.

IPL Green Laser - For Skin Pigmentation 

Clients Treated at Skin Perfect Brothers (Burned scar) 


Skin Pigmentation Burn Removal

Clients Treated at Skin Perfect Brothers (She has a mixture of melasma and Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation)Melasma and Hyperpigmentation Treatment

This client first came to us with a mixture of melasma and PIH. She received a peeling laser for melasma which caused lots of inflammation (due to heat and peeling). When she healed, the skin developed substantial PIH (pigmented scars). We usually recommend preparing the skin with bleaching cream for 6 weeks (for ethnic skin) prior to the treatment, which will minimize the development of PIH. She does not recall prepping the skin prior to the treatment completed at a different clinic.

In any case, we recommend completing a minimum of 12 Spectral lasers combined with a light superficial Fraxel at the end (Using the new Fraxel Dual Laser). Her face was prepped well (8 weeks with bleaching cream), cooling measures were implemented before, during, and after treatment to prevent inflammation. She was given topical anti-inflammatory creams which cleared up nicely.

Clients Treated at Skin Perfect Brothers using Spectra Laser
Hyperpigmentation Treatment - Melasma

Our Client above has developed PIH after intense laser heat. She has completed 11 Spectra treatments with us at Skin Perfect Brothers and said “I got 85% Clearance on my face!”

Clients Treated at Skin Perfect BrothersSpectra Laser Treatment Before and After

This client developed PIH or pigmented scars from acne.



Give us a call at 909-839-0714 to schedule your FREE CONSULTATION today!

We are located at 1569 S. Fairway Dr. #226, Walnut, CA 91789 (between Colima Road and Fairway Drive).

We service the following Southern California and Los Angeles areas: Walnut, Diamond Bar, Rowland Heights, Hacienda Heights, La Puente, West Covina, Covina, Chino Hills, Brea, Whittier, Irvine, Pomona, Rancho Cucamonga, and more!

Feel free to “SHARE” this Post with your friends and don’t forget to “FOLLOW” and “LIKE” us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Google Plus by hitting the direct links above. You can also find more videos by going to our Skin Care Education Page or by visiting us on our YouTube Channel (Skin Perfect Brothers).

From the Skin Care Beauty Experts you Love to Trust,

Joseph and Fei Bi, PA-C