Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, which is a darkening of the skin pigment due to increased amounts of melanin, usually occurs during the healing process after the treatment of a skin disease. While most cases of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation disappear on their own after a few weeks, you can speed up the process by following a few simple steps.
Allow the post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation to disappear naturally before using any topical creams or natural skin brighteners. In most cases, prudent use of a sunscreen with an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of at least 30 and protective clothing and hats will speed up the healing process.
Use natural compounds, such as fruit juices and herbal extracts, to treat post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Some fruits, such as grapefruit, lemons, kiwis and papaya, can lighten discolored skin when the juice is squeezed into a compress and applied for 15 to 20 minutes twice per day. Herbal extracts such as licorice, mulberry, raspberry and green tea can also lighten the skin and reduce the appearance of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
Consult with your doctor or dermatologist to treat your post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation with prescription creams such as hydroquinone and retinol. While these medications may produce side effects such as skin rash and irritations, they are highly effective in eliminating the symptoms of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
Use moisturizing lotions on your skin when you treat post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Most remedies and medications, from lemon juice to retinol, can dry out your skin and cause complications during the healing process.
Investigate the use of chemical peels, laser treatments, azelaic acid applications and other therapies for more stubborn or severe cases of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Your doctor or dermatologist should be able to review the advantages and disadvantages of each treatment option, and help you decide which one is best for you. Note that some of the more radical forms of skin therapy may actually have the reverse effect by darkening post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
Use hypo-allergenic makeup to camouflage the effects of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. This can help to restore your self-esteem during the healing process in a safe and non-intrusive manner.
The length and intensity of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation depends upon the natural skin tone of the sufferer. Patients with darker skin often experience longer recovery times than patients with fair skin.
Note that hydroquinone may be linked with cancer, according to some studies.