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Home: Diseases & Conditions: Acne: Articles: Acne & PIH

Acne & PIH

Acne - PIH And Itís Treatment

When acne resolves, it may leave a scar or a colored mark on the skin. The colored mark is called PIH, or Post Inflammatory Hyper-pigmentation. The color is due to the natural healing process of the body. It fades away slowly.

The color of PIH depends upon the individual's skin color. PIH is not a scar. A true scar does not fade away, but PIH fades away. If you are troubled by PIH, let's find out how to speed up the fading of the PIH by using Retinoids, AHAs, Bleaches, and Sunscreen.


Retinoids increase the turnover of skin cells. As the turnover of skin cells increases, new cells form faster and color gets removed in a short time. Retinoids are therefore useful in resolving PIH quickly.

Retinoids are derivatives of Vitamin A. Adaplene, Tazarotene and Tretinoin are common retinoids. Retinoids can cause dryness of the skin and may also cause itching in some individuals. Sun protection is a must while using retinoids because they make the skin more sensitive to sun. To know more about retinoids, click here.


Alpha Hydroxy Acids are useful in skin rejuvenation. AHAs loosen the bonds between the skin cells and remove the dead cells. This increases the growth of new cells. Glycolic is one of the common AHAs and many formulations are available with Glycolic Acid. Use of these formulations will remove the dead skin cells and help resolve the PIH quickly. To know more about AHAís click here


Skin bleaches such as Hydroquinone and Azelaic Acid are useful in removing excess skin color. They should be used carefully otherwise they may lighten the spot compared to the surrounding skin. To know more about Skin bleaches click here-

Sun Exposure

PIH has higher density of melanin, the skin color pigment. Sun rays darken such spots more than they darken the other skin. It is therefore important to protect the darkened spots from sun. A good sunscreen must be used until the color fades away.

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Acne & Sunshine

Despite the belief that acne gets cleared by sunshine, there is no scientific evidence to this. Excess sun can damage your skin rather than treating acne.

Click here to learn more on Sun Damage.

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