Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH)
This is caused by skin injury such as psoriasis, burns, acne, spots and some skin care treatments. It usually goes away as the skin regenerates and heals, however a real problem for ethnic skin because the discolouration is evident on the skin and for longer periods of time.
This type of hyperpigmentation is caused by hormonal fluctuations, and is a normal occurrence during pregnancy. It can also occur as a result of thyroid dysfunction and as a side effect of taking birth control pills or hormone therapy medication. This is a difficult type of hyperpigmentation to treat.
Also known as liver spots or age spots, they are found on 90% of people over the age of 60, and are caused by exposure to UV rays.
How to reduce the pigmentation?
Topical applications – moisturisers, oils and cleansers containing retinoids – vitamin A & C and alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), which exfoliate and rejuvenate the skin, are helpful in treating hyperpigmentation of all types.
Consider a non-ablative professional procedure if topical treatments are not as effective to target your hyperpigmentation:
- Skin Peels – Jessner, Lactic, Glycolic and Salicylic Acid Peels to treat darkened skin areas. A course of 3 – 6 peels will reduce the pigmentation in the dermal layer of the skin, thereafter a quarterly peel to keep the skin rejuvenation process functioning at peak condition.
- Skinrolla – (Dermal Roller / Collagen Induction Therapy) creates a multitude of tiny puncture wounds to the dermis which creates the release of growth factors that stimulate the production of new skin without the removal of the healthy epidermis.
- Mesotherapy is a treatment that delivers naturally occurring nourishing ingredients including vitamins, amino-acids and minerals to the middle layers of the skin where cell repair and growth occurs and reduces melisma and age spot pigmentation.
- IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) therapy. These target selective dark spots only. IPL devices are used under strict supervision under a trained physician.
It is imperative to wear sunscreen on a daily basis during and after treatment. The sun’s UV rays are present even on cloudy days. UV rays exacerbate post inflammation hyperpigmentation. Use non-irritating physical sun blocks, like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.