feb 2024

Post blemish marks & acne scars

Acne is a common skin journey many of us go through, and it can sometimes leave behind reminders like PIH (Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation), PIE (Post-Inflammatory Erythema), and various acne scars. Understanding these after-effects and how to manage them can really make a difference to long-term skin health.

What Are PIH, PIE, and Acne Scars?

Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH) occurs when a skin injury or inflammation (like acne) causes an overproduction of melanin, leading to dark spots or patches on the skin. PIH is more common in darker skin tones and can vary in colour from pink to red, purple, brown, or black, depending on your skin colour and depth of the discoloration.

Post-Inflammatory Erythema (PIE), on the other hand, is characterised by reddish or purplish spots left after an acne lesion heals. It results from damage to the capillaries (tiny blood vessels) near the surface of the skin and is more noticeable in lighter skin tones.

Acne Scars form when the healing process of acne lesions either produces excess tissue (leading to raised scars) or leads to a loss of tissue (resulting in depressed scars). The most common types of acne scars are atrophic scars, including ice pick, boxcar, and rolling scars, and hypertrophic or keloid scars, which are raised above the skin surface.

how to reduce appearance 

While each condition requires a slightly different approach, there are several topical treatments that can help minimise their appearance:

Sun Protection: Sunscreen is crucial for preventing PIH from becoming darker and more pronounced.

Topical Retinoids: These can accelerate cellular turnover, helping to fade PIH and improve the texture of acne scars.

Vitamin C: An antioxidant that can brighten the skin and reduce the appearance of PIH.

Niacinamide: Known for its anti-inflammatory properties, it can help reduce redness associated with PIE and lighten PIH.

Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs): These exfoliate the outer layer of the skin, helping to fade PIH and smooth out shallow acne scars.

Azelaic Acid: addresses PIH, PIE, and acne scars by inhibiting melanin production, reducing inflammation, and promoting cell turnover, thereby lightening dark spots, calming redness, and smoothing skin texture.

professional treatments  

For more persistent or severe cases of PIH, PIE, or acne scars, professional treatments like chemical peels, laser therapy, or microneedling may be recommended by a dermatologist.

Understanding the nuances of PIH, PIE, and acne scars is the first step toward effectively treating them. With the right combination of topical treatments and professional guidance, it's possible to significantly improve the appearance of these post-acne marks, leading to clearer, more even-toned skin.

products from our range that can help

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Clear Skin Days | Dull Skin Hyperpigmentation Bundle | Toner, Retinol, BHA and Salicylic Acid Serum
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Clear Skin Days | Skin Cycling Evening Routine | Retinol Recovery and Clarifying Glycolic Serum
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Gentle Glow Givers


We hope that you've found this blog helpful - if you have any questions or would like to share your skincare journey with us, we'd love to hear from you. You can get in touch via the form below or by DM on IG. 




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