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, such as in the case of overexposure to the sun or heat, acne, laser treatments that cause peeling of the skin, or misuse/overuse of products such as Retin A, Hydroquinone, home chemical peels, or bleaching creams. When this is the case, 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 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 since both can exist together. 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.
We generally recommend preparing the skin with bleaching cream for 6 weeks prior to the treatment, which 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. In addition to avoiding sun exposure, “Suppression Therapy” – the daily use of cosmeceuticals that suppress the activation of melanocytes in sunlight – is highly effective in combating the symptoms of hyperpigmentation.
Factors that stimulate hyperpigmentation:
- #1 cause: Sun!
- Dryness and Inflammation
- Pregnancy and hormonal contraceptives
- Hormonal irregularities
- Stress hormones triggered by lack of sleep
- Inflammatory diet such as fast food
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.