Apply Now





Get rid of hyperpigmentation safely at Bellus Academy Medi-Spa

School News Sep 06 2011

Guest Blogger Olga Filatova, Spa Director

What is Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation?
Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation, or PIH, is the medical term given to discoloration of the skin that follows an inflammatory wound. It is the skin’s natural response to inflammation. PIH presents itself as a flat area of discoloration on the skin ranging from pink to red, purple, brown or black, depending on your skin tone and depth of the discoloration.

PIH develops when a wound, rash, pimple, or other stimuli causes skin inflammation, which triggers the skin to produce too much melanin. Melanin is the protein in the skin that gives the skin its color. The excess melanin darkens and discolors the wounded area. This discoloration remains even after the wound or rash has healed. PIH is very common among acne sufferers. It can occur in all skin types, although it is more common in darker skin tones. It affects both men and women equally. Luckily, PIH is not a true scar.

PIH and Acne
A post inflammatory hyperpigmentation macule often is the remnant of an inflamed acne lesion. PIH macules can follow relatively minor pimples and papules, in addition to more serious lesions. However, the more inflamed a breakout, the larger and darker the PIH macule tends to be.
You can identify post inflammatory hyperpigmentation by carefully examining the skin. PIH macules can be a range of colors,  however, the skin will not be pitted or depressed. It may look like a discolored freckle on the skin, or it may present as a larger, dark discoloration of the skin. PIH macules may look shiny, or like “new skin.”

Treating PIH
Most acne sufferers are relieved to learn that post inflammatory hyperpigmentation is not scarring. PIH will fade away over time, even without treatment. It can take three to 24 months for PIH to fully fade, although in some cases it may take longer. The length of time it takes for PIH to fade depends on how dark the PIH macule is compared to your skin tone. The bigger the contrast between the macule and your natural skin tone, the longer it will take to fade.
There are treatment options available to help fade post inflammatory hyperpigmentation more quickly. However, your acne should be under control before beginning any treatment for PIH. Otherwise, each new pimple could cause another PIH macule, reducing the effectiveness of treatment.

Hydroquinone
Hydroquinone is a widely used treatment for post inflammatory hyperpigmentation.  Hydroquinone works by blocking the enzyme responsible for melanin production, thereby lightening the skin.
Hydroquinone creams often contain additional lightening ingredients, such as kojic acid, glycolic acid, tretinoin and other retinoids, or vitamin C. These combination creams can give you better results than using hydroquinone alone.

Topical Retinoids
Retinoids help clear acne by speeding up cell turnover rates. It is this rapid exfoliation that can also help clear PIH. The fact that they lessen post inflammatory hyperpigmentation as they treat acne breakouts is an added benefit for many people.

Obvious results may not be apparent for several weeks to several months after beginning treatment. Topical retinoids may cause excessive dryness, redness, and/or irritation, which may in turn increase hyperpigmentation

Glycolic Acid
Glycolic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid found in many skin care products. It effectively exfoliates the skin, helping to lighten post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Available in cleansers, creams, and gels, glycolic acid not only helps improve post inflammatory hyperpigmentation, but also leaves your skin smooth and soft.

Azelaic Acid
Azelaic acid is used to treat acne as well as PIH. Available by prescription only, azelaic acid works by decreasing inflammation and speeding up cell turnover rates. Some studies have shown azelaic acid to be as effective as hydroquinone at treating hyperpigmentation. It is a good alternative for those who may be unable to use hydroquinone.

Azelaic acid is available in cream and gel form, and is sometimes used in conjunction with glycolic acid or tretinoin.

Procedural Treatments

More persistent cases of post inflammatory hyperpigmentation can be treated professionally at Bellus Medi-Spa.  Procedural  treatments include various chemical peels and microdermabrasion . A series of treatments is needed to adequately fade PIH.  Your aesthetician can help determine which of these treatments, if any, would be right for you.

Get rid of hyperpigmentation safely at Bellus Medi-Spa

What is Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation?

Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation, or PIH, is the medical term given to discoloration of the skin that follows an inflammatory wound. It is the skin’s natural response to inflammation. PIH presents itself as a flat area of discoloration on the skin ranging from pink to red, purple, brown or black, depending on your skin tone and depth of the discoloration.

PIH develops when a wound, rash, pimple, or other stimuli causes skin inflammation, which triggers the skin to produce too much melanin. Melanin is the protein in the skin that gives the skin its color. The excess melanin darkens and discolors the wounded area. This discoloration remains even after the wound or rash has healed. PIH is very common among acne sufferers. It can occur in all skin types, although it is more common in darker skin tones. It affects both men and women equally. Luckily, PIH is not a true scar.

PIH and Acne

A post inflammatory hyperpigmentation macule often is the remnant of an inflamed acne lesion. PIH macules can follow relatively minor pimples and papules, in addition to more serious lesions. However, the more inflamed a breakout, the larger and darker the PIH macule tends to be.

You can identify post inflammatory hyperpigmentation by carefully examining the skin. PIH macules can be a range of colors, however, the skin will not be pitted or depressed. It may look like a discolored freckle on the skin, or it may present as a larger, dark discoloration of the skin. PIH macules may look shiny, or like “new skin.”

Treating PIH

Most acne sufferers are relieved to learn that post inflammatory hyperpigmentation is not scarring. PIH will fade away over time, even without treatment. It can take three to 24 months for PIH to fully fade, although in some cases it may take longer. The length of time it takes for PIH to fade depends on how dark the PIH macule is compared to your skin tone. The bigger the contrast between the macule and your natural skin tone, the longer it will take to fade.

There are treatment options available to help fade post inflammatory hyperpigmentation more quickly. However, your acne should be under control before beginning any treatment for PIH. Otherwise, each new pimple could cause another PIH macule, reducing the effectiveness of treatment.

Hydroquinone
Hydroquinone is a widely used treatment for post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Hydroquinone works by blocking the enzyme responsible for melanin production, thereby lightening the skin.

Hydroquinone creams often contain additional lightening ingredients, such as kojic acid, glycolic acid, tretinoin and other retinoids, or vitamin C. These combination creams can give you better results than using hydroquinone alone.

Topical Retinoids
Retinoids help clear acne by speeding up cell turnover rates. It is this rapid exfoliation that can also help clear PIH. The fact that they lessen post inflammatory hyperpigmentation as they treat acne breakouts is an added benefit for many people.

Obvious results may not be apparent for several weeks to several months after beginning treatment. Topical retinoids may cause excessive dryness, redness, and/or irritation, which may in turn increase hyperpigmentation

Glycolic Acid
Glycolic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid found in many skin care products. It effectively exfoliates the skin, helping to lighten post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Available in cleansers, creams, and gels, glycolic acid not only helps improve post inflammatory hyperpigmentation, but also leaves your skin smooth and soft.

Azelaic Acid
Azelaic acid is used to treat acne as well as PIH. Available by prescription only, azelaic acid works by decreasing inflammation and speeding up cell turnover rates. Some studies have shown azelaic acid to be as effective as hydroquinone at treating hyperpigmentation. It is a good alternative for those who may be unable to use hydroquinone.

Azelaic acid is available in cream and gel form, and is sometimes used in conjunction with glycolic acid or tretinoin.

Procedural Treatments

More persistent cases of post inflammatory hyperpigmentation can be treated professionally at Bellus Medi-Spa. Procedural treatments include various chemical peels and microdermabrasion . A series of treatments is needed to adequately fade PIH. Your aesthetician can help determine which of these treatments, if any, would be right for you.

Leave a Reply

Be the First to Comment!

Notify of
avatar

wpDiscuz

Why Choose Bellus?

Travel the World

We offer International Certification (ITEC) which allows our graduates to work in 38 countries around the world.

See all Top 12 Reasons to Choose Bellus »

Top Job Placement

Our career services team and student mobile app make finding your dream career so much easier.

See all Top 12 Reasons to Choose Bellus »

Business & Marketing Training

Classes that prepare you to own a business and market yourself.

See all Top 12 Reasons to Choose Bellus »

Our Reputation

Bellus is the most awarded beauty and wellness institution in the country and Intercoiffure recently ranked us the #1 beauty school in North America!

See all Top 12 Reasons to Choose Bellus »

Compete in Competitions

Our students have a history of succeeding at national student competitions including TrendVision and America’s Beauty Show.

See all Top 12 Reasons to Choose Bellus »

We're Tech Savvy

Our app gives 24/7 access to academics, attendance and job postings. Select programs offer social learning on iPads, which are included in the student kit.

See all Top 12 Reasons to Choose Bellus »

Exam Prep

All of our programs include a mock state board test to prepare you for the state license exam and our kits include the state board kit and licensing fees.

See all Top 12 Reasons to Choose Bellus »

Top Educators

We invest in our educators to ensure that they are trained in the latest industry techniques and trends.

See all Top 12 Reasons to Choose Bellus »

Externships

Our relationships with high-end salons in Southern California allow students to network with top stylists and owners. (CA campuses only)

See all Top 12 Reasons to Choose Bellus »

We Give Back

We have an undeniable passion for humanity. Our schools are honored to give back and participate in community events while utilizing our technical skills.

See all Top 12 Reasons to Choose Bellus »

Multiple License Programs

Bellus is proud to offer combined courses that allow you to enroll in one program and graduate with multiple credentials.

See all Top 12 Reasons to Choose Bellus »

Alumni Benefits

We give our graduates access to job postings, the opportunity to attend campus events and alumni scholarships for advanced education.

See all Top 12 Reasons to Choose Bellus »
Adrianna

Cosmetology

“The teachers were amazing! Without Bellus, I wouldn’t have the rewarding life I have today. School was something I looked forward to every single day. I can’t believe I have a job that I love going to every day.”

- Adrianna
Read more success stories »
Jonyse

Esthetics

“My life has changed so much. Within eight months of graduating, I now own a successful wax bar. I am forever grateful for the great education I received at Bellus Academy.”

- Jonyse
Read more success stories »
Clare

Massage

“For the past year I have been working on super-yachts in Spain as a massage therapist for billionaires and have loved every second of it! I don’t know what I would’ve done without Bellus’ training and expertise.”

- Clare
Read more success stories »
Kelsey

Nails

“I love how hands-on the nail program is at Bellus. I am a visual and hands-on learner and I appreciated the time and focus on my advancement throughout the program. I would definitely recommend Bellus Academy to anyone interested in beauty and wellness education, especially the nail program!”

- Kelsey
Read more success stories »
Jessica

Make-Up

“The program and educators in Make-up Artistry are exceptional. The curriculum was so well designed that each day I couldn’t wait to get to school and begin the next step in learning high-end makeup. I feel very comfortable after taking this class to apply for a job anywhere in makeup, including a Hollywood studio, theater, photography or in a high-end salon and spa.”

- Jessica
Read more success stories »
man shave

Barbering

“As a cosmo crossover, the Barbering Program was not only an excellent way to brush up on the basics, but also the best way to take my career to the next level. The staff was so helpful in every aspect and I highly recommend the program.”

- Johnny
Read more success stories »

Disclosures

View our Disclosures & Consumer Info along with the Net Price Calculator
Click here

Financial Aid

Yes! Financial Aid is available to those who qualify.
See financial aid options

Flexible Schedule

We offer day & night classes. We also have new classes starting every month.
See upcoming class starts