Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation

Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation, or PIH, is the medical term for the dark pink or brown spots that remain on your skin after acne lesions have healed. PIH occurs when the skin inflammation from acne or other stimuli triggers the skin to produce excess melanin. Melanin is the protein in the skin which gives your skin its color.

Is PIH A Scar?

Fortunately, PIH is not a scar. It’s only the remainder of a previous acne lesion. PIH fades between 3-24 months; however, there are treatment options for PIH that can help you achieve healthier, clearer skin. It is important for patients to be aware that picking at or popping pimples will increase the odds of developing PIH lesions.

Always remember that the use of sunscreen is important not only while undergoing the above treatments, but also to protect your skin from the damaging rays of the sun. In a consultation, Dr. Myers will be able to inspect your skin and help you decide which treatment procedure would best meet your individual needs and desired results.

If you have questions concerning Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation, call our office and schedule an appointment to meet with Dr. Myers. At your visit, Dr. Myers will work with you to develop an individualized treatment plan for your condition.


Treatments Available

  • Topical Medications

    There are several over-the-counter treatments with a combination of acids to exfoliate the skin and also contain additional lightening agents. Prescription treatments like topical retinoids clear acne by rapid skin exfoliation, which also helps clear PIH. Products containing a skin lightener such as hydroquinone can also be helpful.

  • Chemical peels/ Jessner

    This procedure exfoliates the skin to reveal the softer, fresher skin beneath, however, several peels may be required and there are multiple strengths to choose from with your physician.

  • Microdermabrasion

    Treatment is done by “sanding” the skin with small exfoliating crystals to remove the uppermost layer of stained skin to reveal the fresh, healthy layer underneath. Multiple microdermabrasion treatments may be necessary.

  • Laser Resurfacing

    This procedure treats PIH by using targeted microbeams to heat tissue. The skin’s healing process forms new, healthy tissue to replace the PIH skin. Laser Resurfacing is a stronger treatment, allowing the treatment of darker PIH lesions. Multiple laser treatments may be necessary.


Dr. David Myers

Dr. David Myers is a board certified dermatologist and Fellow of the American Society for Mohs Surgery. His expertise and attention to detail make him a trusted doctor in his community.

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