Acne, or any kind of skin imperfection, can be aesthetically displeasing and difficult to deal with. However, the dark spots these conditions leave behind can be even worse. You might refer these spots as scars, but they’re actually hyperpigmentation. Scars form when new connective tissue develops to cover a wound that won’t heal properly. Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, or PIH, is less unsightly, but still just as noticeable and seemingly permanent. In this case, injury or inflammation causes an uptick in pigment production, as protection from further injury. These dark spots can be frustrating but there are ways to reduce their appearance and prevent further occurrences with some PIH treatment.
Sun protection Against Dark Spots
Sun exposure triggers melanin production; hence the reason you get a tan, and possibly sunburn, from an afternoon at the beach. When you get this unprotected sun exposure while healing from acne or similar skin conditions, it makes your PIH even worse. To stop the melanin production process, lather up with sunscreen, preferably SPF 50 or higher. If your dark spots are severe, use sunblock instead, or even consider cutting back the amount of time you spend outdoors.
Regular Exfoliation To Shed Hyperpigmentation
The most impactful PIH treatment option is exfoliation. Naturally, exfoliation is a process in which you remove dead skin cells and speed up the skin’s natural regeneration cycle. In doing so, you’re shedding skin and smoothing out your complexion. But you’re also shedding layers of hyperpigmentation. Every time you exfoliate, you’re reducing the appearance of those dark spots. With regular exfoliation over time, you can seriously reduce the spots or even get rid of them completely.
Consider using an AHA resurfacing acid, which is formulated using a gentle yet effective mix of glycolic, pyruvic, and lactic acids. This exfoliating face scrub easily removes dead skin while softening the skin’s surface. Better yet, it works for all skin types. It’s easiest to use in a gel form, helping you avoid the discomfort and mess of powders or masks.
If you’re new to exfoliation, keep your frequency low until you understand your skin’s reaction. Even with gentle products, you may not need to exfoliate more than once a week. Exfoliating too often can overstimulate your sebaceous glands, giving your skin an oily appearance.
Fade Cream As A PIH Treatment
Once you’ve protected your skin and exfoliated it, it’s important to end your routine with PIH treatment. Fade creams might seem worrisome, especially for those with darker skin, but there are plenty of options out there that work as PIH treatment without threatening your natural skin tone and complexion.
Vitamin C cream is a great way to further stimulate recovery from PIH. Vitamin C has been proven to stimulate collagen production and is packed with antioxidants that help restore damaged skin. Though it certainly helps to ingest it, in foods like oranges, strawberries, kiwi, and Brussel sprouts, nothing beats direct application.
Vitamin C cream is especially effective because it harnesses orange plant stem cells. In addition to ramping up collagen production, it revitalizes your skin’s stem cells and provides protection against free radicals. The cream also helps smooth out your complexion by reorganizing collagen fibers. Any spots of PIH will benefit from this as they essentially fade away.
Just as everyday skincare includes a full routine of protection, cleansing, and moisturizing, PIH treatment is no different. You must be thorough, but you must also choose products that specifically target, heal, and reduce or remove dark spots. With consistency, you can lessen PIH’s effects on your skin, and protect yourself from any future issues or flare-ups.