Tackling Hyperpigmentation Caused By Acne

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), or the dark marks left behind after acne resolves, can be very distressing for our patients. As acne heals, the skin produces too much melanin or the protein that gives skin color. Excess melanin darkens and discolors the skin. PIH is fortunately not scarring and will usually fade with time. Advanced Dermatology offers many treatment options to hasten the healing process.

PIH treatment often requires multiple modalities including fastidious sun protection with zinc oxide sunscreen, prescription lightening agents, chemical peels, and laser therapy. Multiple topical prescription
therapies are available for PIH. Hydroquinone lightens the skin by blocking the enzyme responsible for melanin production. Hydroquinone creams often contain additional lightening ingredients including kojic acid, glycolic acid, retinoids, and vitamin C. Topical retinoids, such as Retin-A and Differin, clear acne by speeding up cell turnover rates. This rapid exfoliation can also help fade PIH. Also, azelaic acid works by decreasing inflammation and increasing cell turnover. Some studies show azelaic acid to be as effective as hydroquinone at treating PIH.

A series of in-office superficial chemical peels or DiamondGlow™ can leave the skin brighter and more
even. DiamondGlow™ infuses healing, moisturizing or lightening cosmeceuticals with microdermabrasion. A chemical peel is the application of a chemical substance such as glycolic acid (AHA) or salicylic acid (BHA) to gently exfoliate the skin. A series of these treatments improve the appearance of pigmentation while making your skin softer, smoother, and radiant.

Non-ablative laser therapies such as Genesis™, VBeam®, and IPL are also used for acne hyperpigmentation. These lasers work by gently heating the skin with laser energy and are usually performed as a series of 5 monthly treatments. Patients can resume normal activities immediately after each treatment.

Advanced Dermatology offers many options for treating PIH. Please schedule an consultation to address your particular concerns and develop an individualized treatment plan!