HOW TO TREAT POST-INFLAMMATORY HYPERPIGMENTATION
Blemishes are painful enough to deal with on their own, but the worst part about a bad breakout is when that sucker decides to hang around afterwards in the form of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH).
These dark marks that crop up following a bout of congestion or acne are caused by our skin producing extra melanin after being irritated or injured. It’s our body’s natural response to inflammation.
It’s one of the most common skin conditions patients present with, but luckily there are plenty of solutions when it comes to both at-home and in-clinic treatments.
So, want to stop your post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation in its tracks? I like to divide treatment into at home care and in clinic treatments. BOTH are equally important.
The aim is:
- Exfoliation and lifting of the strained pigmentation cells out of the skin
- Reduce inflammation and stabilise the skin
- In-clinic treatments to break down the pigmentation
STEP 1: AT-HOME SKINCARE
1. Switch off the inflammation and calm the skin
Having the right concentrations of the right ingredients in your skincare products is an absolute game-changer for fighting PIH. Choosing products rich in anti-inflammatory actives can help “turn off” the inflammation cascade caused by the pimple and therefore stopping red and brown marks in the skin.
Ingredients like vitamin B3/niacinamide, which of course you’ll find throughout the DrNC range, can help reduce redness and swelling, while healing skin and preventing the formation of hyperpigmentation.
A non-foaming cleanser and an anti-inflammatory moisturiser, used morning and night, can alone make a big difference to the skin and PIH. I often start patients on the DrNC Concentrated Cleanser + Concentrated Moisturiser (both boosted with B3, aka niacinamide). Then, once their skin has settled, I add in the active serums.
Did you know that we are the only skincare brand that uses vitamin B3 THROUGHOUT the entire range?
2. Remove and lift out the stained pigmented cells
Combining your anti-inflammatories above with ingredients that “lift” out the stained pigment cells, like AHA’s and BHA’s, will ensure best results. These have the double benefit of stopping congestion, reducing breakouts and removing the redness (PIE) and pigmentation (PIH). A prescriptive vitamin A can be added in, but only a few nights a week, to minimise irritation.
3. Use an SPF 30 daily to STOP darkening of the PIH
It’s super important to protect the pigmentation from worsening by using an SPF 30 EVERYDAY. Sun is the enemy - it will only make your PIH and general pigmentation worse. Your sunscreen MUST be SPF 30 and above. Reply on a SPF 15 product or simply the SPF in your foundation will not cut it. It needs to be a dedicated SPF product.
SHOP MY TOTAL SKIN GLOW + ACNE KIT
A non-foaming, non stripping, soap-free cleanser boosted with niacinamide that’s perfect for both acne-prone and sensitive skin, with an anti-inflammation formula to help reduce PIH.
This serum is really the heavy hitter when it comes to targeting PIH. Featuring a unique combination of AHA’s (lactic acid, glycolic acid, mandelic acid and tartaric acid) mixed alongside salicylic acid to ensure pores are deeply exfoliated and unclogged, while old skin cells are turned over, making way for younger, fresher, less-pigmented ones!
Nourish your barrier and keep skin hydrated thanks to a range of botanical anti-inflammatories and antioxidants, along with 5% vitamin B3 - I told you it’s a miracle ingredient! - together with vitamins A, C and E to plump and firm the skin all day long.
Protecting your skin against harmful UV rays with a great full spectrum SPF, to ensure existing PIH isn’t exacerbated. But this isn’t just any old sunscreen. Featuring SPF30 physical UVA and UVB blockers and a unique skincare-infused formula enriched with vitamin B3, vitamin E and moisture-binders to keep skin hydrated and happy. An SPF that doesn’t feel like sunscreen is really important, so you will wear it EVERYDAY!!!
Peels are a definitive go-to when it comes to dealing with uneven skin tone and PIH. We’ve made ours not only safe, BUT easy for you to do at home! It’s a clinical strength at-home weekly treatment peel featuring a unique cocktail of AHAs and BHAs to exfoliate away any PIH to achieve more even-toned, flawless skin. It achieves this by accelerating the removal of the stained pigment cells out of the skin, whilst also removing and preventing new congestion and breakouts at the same time, so it has double the benefits - treating congestion and breakouts while evening out skin tone. There’s a reason it’s one of our biggest sellers!
STEP 2: IN-CLINIC TREATMENTS
While adhering to a disciplined at-home skincare routine is crucial, think of regular clinic treatments as like hitting the accelerator to the floor when it comes to your PIH treatment journey. We have a range of treatments at The Face Bar that are proven to fight PIH and I’ve achieved some incredible results with my own patients.
The number one facial treatment for removing blackheads, whiteheads, and fading out PIH. A non-traumatic tip uses vacuum suction extraction to remove and prevent congestion. While a cocktail of pigment-removing and anti-inflammatory ingredients is infused into the skin. Finishing off with a light chemical peel you will walk out with immediate results and glowing skin.
Designed to then enhance the absorption of your DrNC active skin care at home.
Lasers are one of my favourite ways to achieve dramatic results with clients, without the downtime. These can be added into the Hydrafacial or as stand alone treatments and are specifically designed to break down pigment, heal redness and stimulate collagen production all at the same time. All with NO DOWNTIME at all. Suitable for ALL skin types including darker skin.
Relax under the 830 nm LED light and let your rejuvenating process begin! Seriously, what does this machine not treat?! It’s a perfect add on to the treatments listed above, to take your skin rejuvenation and even skin tone journey to the next level.