Acne scars are in every way one of the most common skin care problems out there. They literally unite men and women in looking for a worthy treatment. But as much as we’d like to believe we’re all fighting a common enemy, we might not! You might think you have acne scars, but actually, have something else.
Recently, our team discovered that most people who think they have acne scars might actually be mistaken. If you’re one of them, there’s a huge chance you have post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH).
Now, the meaning isn’t as difficult as the word looks, but it is quite different from acne scars. PIH is a medical term used to describe the discolouration of the skin after an inflamed injury. Think of it this way – it’s just like the bruise you have after running into a table or being punched. The difference is it is as a result of pimples that hurt the skin.
PIH can come in a range of colours (depending on your skin tone) and how deep the inflammation was. If you had a big cyst, the inflammation would be deeper into the skin, and darker in colour. But if you had a pimple on the top layer of the skin, the inflammation would be more shallow and lighter.
How did you get PIH?
Getting PIH is no fault of yours. It’s basically the skin’s natural response to having an inflammation. The melanin in your skin (the protein that gives the skin its colour; light or dark) gets produced in excess when there is an inflammation. As your skin heals, the excess melanin darkens the skin and can remain long after the skin is done with the healing.
If you have no idea how to differentiate between acne scars and PIH, here are some tips.
- PIH is usually flat on the skin’s surface while acne scars are usually raised above the skin or depressed into the skin’s surface.
- PIH comes in a variety of colours.
Okay, that’s enough of the ‘what’, how do I get my fabulous skin back?
PIH can be treated to the point where you have flawless skin again. They could fade away naturally, but this is all dependent on time. The hyperpigmentation could take three – 24 months to fully fade away, but this depends on how dark the scar is.
A great point to note is – if you beat acne, you beat PIH. It only comes when you have inflamed skin, so if you get rid of every inflammation, then you’re safe. Acne generally forms when your skin is clogged, oily and filled with bacteria. Ensure your skin is clean and you’ll never have to read this post again.
However, the best option to treat PIH is in products with specific ingredients. Check out our next post to read all about them and what they can do for your scars!