What is Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH)?
Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH) is also known as Pigmented Scars. Often times our skin can become injured or show redness. Some examples often include overexposure to the sun or heat, acne, laser treatments that cause peeling of the skin. This also includes, misuse/overuse of products such as Retin A, Hydroquinone, home chemical peels, or bleaching creams. So, whenever this happens, the skin will heal itself through inflammation.
Inflammation causes melanocyte (spot producing cells) to send melanin or pigment to the skin’s surface to protect it. This pigment can form spots such as acne spots or blotchiness throughout areas of the face. Sometimes PIH can mimic melasma, a type of hyperpigmentation which rests deeper in the skin’s tissue. 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. This is usually because both can exist together. However, the good news is both can be treated the same way.
PIH is not as deep as melasma and can, therefore, respond to a Spectral Q-Switch laser faster than melasma.
Prior to the treatment, we generally recommend preparing the skin with bleaching cream for about 6 weeks. This will minimize any new development of PIH. We recommend completing a minimum of 12 Spectral Laser treatments followed by a light, superficial Fraxel Dual Laser treatment. We also implement cooling measures before, during, and after treatment to prevent further inflammation.
Spectral Laser by Lutronic
Sunlight greatly increases the formation of hyperpigmentation. For that reason, avoiding sun exposure and “Suppression Therapy” is highly effective in combating the symptoms of hyperpigmentation. It’s the daily use of cosmeceuticals that suppress the activation of melanocytes in the sunlight.
Factors that stimulate hyperpigmentation:
- #1 cause: Sun!
- Dryness and Inflammation
- Pregnancy and hormonal contraceptives
- Hormonal irregularities
- Stress hormones triggered by lack of sleep
- Inflammatory (i.e. fast foods)
Hyperpigmentation suppression therapy topicals:
- Clarity Moisturizer (Safe for long-term use)
- Brightening pads ( 0% to 10%)
- 4 in 1 Skin Lightening
- Super Hydrator with Licorice
- Post Spectra brightening gel
- Vit C Pro Collagen Brightening Serum
If you suffer from hyperpigmentation, you may want to consider implementing an anti-inflammatory detox diet, getting good sleep, going for some daily exercise, and taking antioxidants supplements. An IV infusion of Liver Detox, Anti-Aging treatments, and Skin Lightening programs are also available at our professional medspa. Learn more about IV detox here or call to book your appointment today.