Post-inflammatory pigmentation most often occurs in men and women with darker skin tones, but the condition can develop to anyone, regardless of skin type. At Miami Dermatology and Laser Institute, board-certified dermatologist, Jill Waibel, MD, FAAD, treats post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation for men and women living all over the world
What is Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation?
Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is a condition that describes a darkening of the skin after an inflammatory condition heals. The patches appear after a person experiences some type of inflammatory condition, such as a burn, infection, acne, dermatitis, or even another aesthetic procedure. In mild cases, the skin returns to a normal color, but in more severe cases, the hyperpigmentation needs treatment. If post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation persists more than 3 months or if there is a more urgent need to clear your skin, laser treatment or a chemical peel with the appropriate skincare treatment can also be effective.
What Causes Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation?
The skin darkening that is associated with post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation develops when melanin, the substance that gives your skin color, is transferred into the epidermis (outer layer of skin) or dermis (deeper layer of skin). Inflammation triggers the pigmented cells (melanocytes) to produce more melanin and deliver the substance to the skin cells – this is how post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation originates. In some cases, the melanin becomes trapped in the basal layer of the skin.
How is Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation Treated?
A skin examination and medical history can provide adequate information to diagnose post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. A biopsy may be recommended. Using a high-quality sunscreen reduces the risk of the hyperpigmentation from darkening further. Laser treatments and other procedures may be effective in removing the damaged skin and allow for new skin cells to develop in the treatment area.