What the hyperpigmentation?

You pass by a mirror and notice that your dreadful pimple has finally healed. You also notice a brand new dark spot, and start to panic because you don’t know where it came from or how to get rid of it. The never ending cycle continues and you desperately need answers.

The dark spots that you notice after a pimple or breakout are one example of hyperpigmentation. Hyperpigmentation are patches of skin that become darker than the surrounding areas of skin.

A person’s skin tone is created by a pigment called melanin. One’s complexion is created by the intensity of this pigment’s expression. When your skin behaves normally, this pigment is equally distributed through your skin. However, external and internal changes can create an imbalance for your skin causing hyperpigmentation. 

Nylon reported, “the most common type of hyperpigmentation for 20-somethings is what’s called post inflammatory hyperpigmentation.” 


Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH)

PIH develops when a wound or irritation like a scrape, rash, or pimple causes the skin to become inflamed.  When the skin is damaged it triggers increased melanin production in order to help heal the skin. The common cause of PIH is acne and all skin types can be affected. However,  PIH has a tendency to affect beautiful brown skin girls more often. These spots can range from different shapes, sizes, and colors. They also remain after a pimple, rash, or scrape goes away.


Acne Scars vs. PIH

PIH is not true scarring, yes it may leave a mark but over time these dark spots will start to fade or even revert back to a more balanced skin tone. 

Moderate to severe acne that damages the skin’s inner layers can result in a deep scar that is visible on the surface of the skin. 

As opposed to acne scars, PIH is flat. It is not raised skin; it is a discoloration of the skin. 


How to Combat PIH


  • Applying Sunscreen 

    • Protecting yourself from blazing sun rays is a simple preventative measure for PIH


  • Don’t pick or scratch the skin

    • In a day your hands accumulate a lot of dirt and bacteria. If you get pimples it is important to keep your hands off of your face in order  to prevent PIH.


Best products that fight PIH

  • TruSkin Naturals Vitamin C Serum 

  • The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%

  • Sefpil Mandelic Acid Cream

It is important to remember that hyperpigmentation does not go away overnight. It will take several months to see improvements, but you must remain patient. Most importantly, remember that you are not fighting this battle alone. If hyperpigmentation becomes a consistent battle reach out to your local dermatologist.