What is Post-Inflammatory Pigmentation?
A form of hyperpigmentation, Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation, (or PIH) is caused when the skin suffers trauma. This sort of skin trauma will create the overproduction of melanin (skin color) in the area of skin inflammation. When skin is damaged, cells overreact and can go into color-changing overdrive. Once acne, blisters, burns or other forms of trauma to the skin heal, a spot of discoloration often remains. In many cases, it looks like scar tissue, but it’s actually a physical discoloration in the skin. Scar tissue and PIH can be similar, especially because PIH can range in color from pink, red, purple to brown patches. Unlike scar tissue, PIH is smooth, while scar tissue leaves a mark where the skin is either dimpled or raised.
PIH can happen to any skin type or skin tone, but tends to be more prevalent in darker skin types, especially those in the higher Fitzpatrick Scale (a numerical classification scheme for skin color). In some PIH cases, the skin color can resolve back to a more even color over an extended period of time. If the area of discoloration has been left untreated for a considerable amount of time and is still visible or depending on how dark the spot can be, treatment options are available to fade PIH. These treatments are available in topical agents to alleviate the leftover spots on the skin.
It should be noted that it can take months for professional treatments to effectively lighten PIH. Measures to protect the skin from further discolorations and darkening, such as wearing protective sunscreens and not picking/popping pimples, will decrease the chances of PIH occurring. Those in the higher Fitzpatrick Scale need to use less-harsh or aggressive treatments to lighten spots. A more gentle approach is needed to prevent the condition from worsening or causing irritation.
Undergoing treatment with guidance from a licensed esthetician and a proper home regimen will heighten the benefits of lightening PIH-affected areas. At-home use of topical skincare products, containing ingredients like Vitamin C, Niacinamide and certain Alpha Hydroxy Acids (or AHAs) such as Lactic Acid, have a proven history of effectively lightening spots where PIH has occurred. Other ingredients effective in lightening the skin while providing anti-inflammatory benefits include Licorice Root and Kojic Acid. Skin-lightening products that contain one or more of these ingredients may also act as tyrosinase inhibitors, preventing the overproduction of melanin. These ingredients can help suppress PIH from occurring in the future.
As with any skin-lightening regimen, it’s extremely important to always wear a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Consistent use will protect the skin and prevent the condition from worsening over time.
Check out our popular products for Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation listed below.
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30 ml (1 oz.) A Vitamin A serum that's perfect for use on extremely sensitive skin types. Contains .25 percent of Vitamin A (retinaldehyde) and a lower percentage of essential ingredients to carefully, yet effectively, help improve your skin's nutritional support. It’s a repairing serum that increases immune repair while aiding in the production and stimulation of new collagen and elastin to restore your skin’s protective barrier. It’s also ideal for people just starting out on Osmosis products. Unscented and perfect for sensitive/rosacea and even acneic skin types.Learn More
*The Iluma Lightening Serum has been renamed to the Brightening Serum. There is still some inventory left of the Iluma Lightening Serum, "Once we go through our inventory of the ILUMA Lightening Serum Bottles & Boxes we will have a packaging change. Due to FDA guidelines we are not allowed to use “Lightening” as a name for any of our products." -per Image Skincare.
1 oz. IMAGE Skincare ILUMA™ Intense Lightening Serum is an amazing, lightweight serum that works to lighten and prevent dark spots. Vitamin C, bearberry, mulberry, licorice, kojic acid and Rumex all serve triple duty to help naturally brighten your skin and prevent further sun spots, soothe and calm your skin, and provide antioxidant protection. Green tea, echinacea, chamomile and Gotu Kola give an extra boost of soothing antioxidants while Vectorize® Technology allows the active ingredients to work for up to 48 hours once applied to your skin. Learn More
1 oz. ILUMA™ Intense Bleaching Serum is an amazing, powerful, lightweight serum that tackles pigmentation with a 10 percent blend of 2 percent hydroquinone (a potent skin lightener), azelaic acid (to reduce inflammation) and glycolic acid (an alpha hydroxy acid that exfoliates the skin). As with any hydroquinone product, people using the Intense Bleaching Serum should discontinue use after three months, switching to the hydroquinone-free Intense Lightening Serum for three months.
ILUMA™ Intense Bleaching Serum MUST NOT be used while pregnant. Learn More
1.7 oz. IMAGE Skincare ILUMA™ Intense Brightening Crème takes the concept of botanical brightening to the next level with Vectorize® Technology, which keeps the active ingredients working for up to 48 hours on your skin. Daisy flower helps brighten dark spots, along with licorice and arbutin (found in pear skins). IMAGE’s signature three different forms of Vitamin C lighten pigmentation, firm and plumpen your skin and provide powerful antioxidant protection. Plant stem cells extend the life of your skin’s cells, keeping your skin looking young and fresh. Learn More
6 oz. IMAGE Skincare ILUMA™ Intense Lightening Body Lotion is formulated to lighten sun damage and dark spots on your body. Daisy flower extract and plant stem cells enveloped in Vectorize® Technology deliver the ultimate lotion to brighten and rejuvenate your body. This lightweight, non-irritating lotion soaks into your skin with no greasy residue and a light scent that dissipates quickly. Whether you're treating sun spots, lingering back acne scars or just wanting a more even body complexion, ILUMA™ Intense Lightening Body Lotion covers it all. Learn More
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2 oz. IMAGE Skincare ILUMA™ Intense Lightening Hand Crème SPF 15 is a non-greasy hand creme with botanical brighteners, antioxidants and sun protection. The lemongrass essential oil gives this hand creme a soft, clean scent, making ILUMA™ Intense Lightening Hand Crème SPF 15 perfect for women and men of all ages. Learn More
Osmosis Skincare's products focus on being a highly effective skin-improvement solution without causing the potential problems associated with inflammation. Most other product lines use ingredients that inflame your skin as part of their process to achieve results. Osmosis Skincare believes that its products must focus on repair without irritation. They reduce free-radicals first, because they are a primary stimulus of unwanted pigment. Melanocytes are encouraged to help improve overall skin health.
Osmosis Skincare’s alternative methods have replaced the traditional skin care use of hydroquinone, typically used to treat hyperpigmentation with high percentages of paper mulberry. Hydroquinone is known to cause inflammation and, if discontinued, the return of hyperpigmentation. Studies show that 0.4 percent natural paper mulberry is equivalent to 5.5 percent hydroquinone, So, Osmosis hyperpigmentation treatments are a safe and natural choice, yet they are still a highly effective skin-lightening agent.
Osmosis Skincare also believes in repairing/renewing skin through a better penetration and delivery system. This allows users to achieve the lightening results they desire in a short period of time, without the irritation usually associated with it. These treatment systems are intended for 90-day use.Learn More
Wilma Schumann European Skin Care's outstanding professional product line is the result of more than 25 years of research, development and experience in professional and derma-esthetics skin care. The philosophic principles behind its advanced formulations and products are: Simple. Effective. Results. The company is a pioneer in corrective serums and emulsions. Its treatment systems are uniquely effective because of their advanced design and ability to penetrate the skin.
The Hyperpigmentation Treatment System effectively reduces and lightens dark pigment and patches existing on the skin's surface, while stopping the production of any new pigment. The system includes effective products with ingredients that reduce additional photo damage through highly developed, protective formulations. Wilma Schumann offers a vast assortment of results-driven products that contain antioxidants, pure botanicals and advanced repairing/lifting ingredients. These special formulations are guaranteed to balance, brighten and reduce wrinkles. Skin hydration and nourishment, provided through regular use, help protect the new, clearer, pigment-free skin created over time.
Wilma Schumann doesn't believe in just promoting ingredients in their products. It’s the product formulation that matters. It has to be the right combination of ingredients and delivery method to make real changes to the skin. All of the products in its professional Hyperpigmentation Treatment System are light, non-irritating and possess proven lab/field-tested results. These treatment systems are intended for 90-day use.Learn More
PCA Skin takes pride in being a manufacturer of gentle, yet highly effective skin care products. PCA Skin's professional-grade treatments work on a cellular level to achieve optimal results. PCA Skin’s Hyperpigmentation Treatment System is designed to gently exfoliate your skin, which helps increase skin cell turnover. Bringing healthy, new skin to the surface will allow the treatment's melanogenesis inhibitors to penetrate the surface. This helps your body stop the chain reaction that results in the “dark spots” on the surface of the skin.
This treatment system is designed to achieve skin lightening results with low-level retinol, which has been found to be non-irritating.
Because PCA Skin is a professional-grade product line, the ingredients found within them are stronger and more effective than what's found in over-the-counter products. PCA Skin’s combination of active ingredients reduces the visible darkening of the skin's surface while helping prevent further degradation or damage.
These treatment systems are intended for 90-day use.Learn More
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Revitalize and refresh your skin with the collagen-boosting affects of pumpkin. Natural enzymes help keep your skin refined and antioxidants fight free-radical damage. Thoroughly cleanse with the Pumpkin Cleanser and then refresh with the Pumpkin Rinse. Add the Growth Factor Serum Plus for the ultimate in anti-aging benefits. Collagen boosters plumpen fine lines and wrinkles providing for overall skin rejuvenation. The Derma Peel can be used as a mask or as an exfoliator, twice a week, for resurfacing to produce a more refined and even skin tone.Learn More
Illuminate your skin and even your skin tone with this skin-brightening system. Prevents further damage to the skin while correcting age and sun spots caused by sun damage. The brightening cleanser and lotion prep your skin for the lightening regimen. The Daytime Defense SPF 30 protects your skin from further sun damage. The Skin Brightening Enzyme, with a once-a-week treatment, encourages greater correction.Learn More
Rosacea can an uncomfortable and embarrassing skin condition, creating red and swollen pustules, visible capillaries and even inflammation that can cause itching. The Seeing Red? Kit contains three gentle products that calm inflammation and heal pustules. Infuses nutrients directly, which works to effectively reduces the irritation associated with rosacea.\Includes: Creamy Milk Cleanser (120ml) Rosacea Serum (30ml) Exotica Rhodiola (50ml) Learn More
Keep hyperpigmentation at bay without harsh bleaching serums during the summer and throughout the year with effective antioxidants and exfoliation. Daytime Defense protects skin with an SPF of 30. The C Peptide Complex helps keep skin tone even. The Mandelic Arginine Serum keeps your skin refreshed and revitalized.Learn More
4 oz. ILUMA™ Intense Lightening Cleanser is a gel cleanser with a silky texture. When applied to wet skin, the gel becomes a cleansing milk. The Intense Lightening Cleanser is perfect for all skin types, especially people with sun spots, or dry skin or sensitive skin. This luxurious formula, which is extremely gentle and non-irritating, delivers powerful botanical brighteners and plant stem cells. Learn More
The Skincare Pigment Control Skin Essentials Kit combines specific products that help treat pigment changes in your skin and/or to repair skin damage.
The Skincare Pigment Control Skin Essentials Kit contains trial sizes of Gentle Facial Wash, AHA Accelerator, Living Cell Clarifier, Derma Pigment Bleaching Fluid, Anti-Aging Exfoliant Masque, Vital A Cream and Photo-Age Protection Cream 30+.Learn More
1 oz. Breakthrough technology combines the classic zinc finger technology of Catalyst and intense DNA cellular repair with AC-11® (cat's claw). A more potent formulation that also contains aloe and Vitamin E to soothe your skin. This innovative serum helps with anti-aging efforts, broken capillaries, hyperpigmentation and even skin tags. Provides intense repair for your skin and stimulates collagen production.Learn More
Special Price: $40.80
60 ml. A refreshing and purifying mask that provides deep exfoliation while invigorating your skin. Botanical ingredients, infused essential oils, and alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) improve your skin for a radiant complexion. Peppermint and rosemary invigorates your skin while koalin clay helps firm and tighten as it expels toxins from your skin. Great product to control oil and tighten pores, too. Can also be used as a spot treatment on acne lesions.Learn More
Special Price: $35.20
An enzyme exfoliating gel that effectively removes dead surface cells and rejuvenates dull skin. Made with a mint fragrance and gentle granules to provide your skin with stimulation and to refine. Conditioning humectants help moisturize your skin while buffing away dead cells to reveal fresh and supple skin.Learn More
A lightweight serum, made with glycolic and lactic acids, that's perfect for treatment and prep before chemical peels, and maintaining additional treatment for acne and hyperpigmentation conditions. Gentle, water-based ingredients encourage healing and soothing in your skin. The serum also helps correct and treat existing skin issues.Learn More
2 oz. A liquid that restores and balances your skin on a cellular level. It's full of antioxidants for protection against environmental toxins and free-radical damage. Natural ingredients of licorice, bearberry and mulberry extracts lighten and brighten your skin for a more even complexion. It also helps lighten areas of skin due to trauma, post-peel inflammation and hyperpigmentation.Learn More
2 oz. A brightening agent that lightens and brightens your skin with a natural amino acid derivative. People using this hydroquinone-free formulation can see results in as little as 30 days. It also helps moisturize the skin, lightens age spots and provides anti-aging benefits.Learn More
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2 oz. A powerful hyperpigmentation treatment fluid that contains 2 percent hydroquinone. It effectively lightens dark spots on your skin to provide an even skin tone. A potent anti-aging bleaching fluid that helps inhibit melanin deposits in your skin that can cause hyperpigmentation.Learn More
4 oz. An exceptionally lightweight, full-coverage UVA/UVB sunscreen with an SPF of 30. Provides protection from the sun and antioxidants to fight free-radical damage that can cause premature aging. Can be used by all skin types.Learn More
8 oz. A soothing and cooling astringent made for problematic skin types. Contains 5 percent salicylic acid, which has the ability to provide substantial relief for acne. Tea tree oil helps sanitize, heal and soothe, while menthol gives a nice cooling sensation. This daily toner astringent encourages calming of skin inflammation associated with acne, while making your skin feel super clean.Learn More