Scarring can be an unwelcome aftermath of acne and other skin irritations. But what exactly are these dark spots, red patches, and pitted scars that seem to linger long after the initial inflammation has subsided?
PIH: Post inflammatory pigmentation (brown marks)
When a skin tone that’s not uniformly smooth; some areas appear darker, often in shades of light brown, brown, or black. This is known as Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH). It occurs as a response to inflammatory wounds or irritations, like those caused by acne or the occasional urge to pick at your skin. The skin’s natural reaction is to produce excess melanin-the pigment responsible for your skin’s color- to protect your skin. When there’s an abundance of melanin, it leads to dark patches or spots, even after the initial wound has healed.
PIE: Post inflammtory Erythema (red marks)
This is exactly the same as PIH. The difference lies in the way our skin produces melanin. Some people with a darker skin type product more eumelanin which produces brown–black scarring. People lighter in skin colour produce more pheomelanin which produces a more yellow–red
It’s the skin’s way of showing that it’s still in the process of healing. These red areas can be especially frustrating, as they often appear long after the blemish itself has vanished.
Unlike PIH and PIE, pitted scarring leaves a more lasting impression. It’s characterized by pitted or raised scars that result from a loss or overgrowth of tissue. These scars can significantly affect your skin’s texture and appearance. Dermal needling is a promising treatment option to address acne scarring.
There are solutions
In most cases, PIH and PIE will gradually fade as your skin heals. The timeline for this fading process varies and depends on the severity of the pigmentation and your unique healing process. We can speed this up though with the introduction of certain skincare that increases the health of your skin and ingredients that regulate melanin production. (see blog below on tyrosinase inhibitors)
Treatment wise for PIH we recommend laser or IPL. For pitted scarring dermal needling is amazing.
If you’re seeking guidance or treatment options for these skin concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re here to help you embark on a path to a more radiant complexion.