Medically termed as “Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation” or PIH, these are dark brown to blue to black pigmentation that are left behind as a sequelae of the acne.
PIH can cause more concerns for individuals with acne than the acne itself but the good news is that, PIH are lesser evils of all pigmentation issues that occurs in our skin, they are preventable and completely treatable for many.
So why do PIH occurs ?
Skin type (i.e darker skin type), along with UV radiation and ongoing inflammation from the acne all work together to cause PIH
How can one minimise the risk of development of dark spots or PIH?
Though PIH/dark spots from acne can fade with time, we do see many individuals whose PIH last longer than expected.
Why is my PIH not fading?
Do over the counter products work for PIH post acne?
To some extent, YES, they do!
OTC products that addresses pigmentation along with treatment for acne and sun protection can definitely help fade acne scars as long as they are superficial epidermal PIH. Deep/Dermal PIH or mixed type of PIH would respond better to prescription medications +/- in office procedures such as chemical peels, LASERS etc