Image courtesy of DermNet NZ.

Image courtesy of DermNet NZ.

Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation

What is it?

This occurs after there is irritation, trauma or damage to the skin which brings about the over production of melanin pigment (hyperpigmentation) to the area. Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation affects over 60% of people of colour.

Causes, Types & Symptoms

Due to the presence of pigment/melanin, any form of irritation or inflammation of the skin from acne, eczema, psoriasis, burns, allergic reactions, UV radiation or even bites can lead to the overproduction of melanin in the affected area. This affects the top layer of the skin - the  Epidermis and sometimes further layer underneath i.e. the Dermis.

Diagnosis & Treatments

This can be diagnosed by a skin care practitioner i.e. an aesthetician or dermatologist and involves a physical examination and sometimes in extreme cases a biopsy. When the pigmentation involved is mixed and within the dermal layer, it may be difficult to treat as the hyperpigmentation is within the deeper layers of the skin.

Chemical peeling and laser treatment are a more extensive forms of treatment alongside using topical treatments like prescribed hydroquinone, retinoids, corticosteroids and Alpha Hydroxy Acids.