You may have PIH- Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation.

What is Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation?

The medical terminology used for this skin state is called -Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, or PIH

What is it exactly? It is described as discoloration of the skin that follows an inflammatory skin condition, treatment or even wound.

IT IS NATURAL GUYS!  It is the skin’s repair system and natural response to inflammation.

So, what does it look like?

PIH aka Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation will appear on the skin after the scab or inflammation has healed and you may see a slightly elevated or even flattish area on the skin where that inflammation was.  Call it a “macule” if you wish.

Yes, and it has a colour range which can be anywhere from tones of purple, red, deep pink and in particular brownish tones. The discolouration depends on your genetic skin type and the depth of the hyperpigmentation.

At Medilase Laser Tattoo Removal Brisbane you have the opportunity to undergo micro-needling which is preparatory to the laser treatment, this minimizes both PIH and scarring possibilities.  Our protocol is unique and assists in additional ink being released.

Why has it happened to me?

PIH may affect all persons, and all races, and both female and male.  No one really misses out here.  It will be more pronounced in persons with medium skin tones to darker, and especially with mixed race, and Skin types 3, 4 and 5.

As your skin began to heal, your cells have gone into override and over produced the melanin which is the protein element in your skin which lays down your very own skin color.

The PIH which looks like the tattoo shape after all the inks have gone is a result of your immune response, which has caused the excess melanin thus darkening and discolouring the skin.

Medilase Tattoo Removal Brisbane, takes meticulous care to make note of your skin type, make note of the healing as we go along.

Will it eventually go?  There is good news here….read on.

Because your body has produced this melanin, the colour change may remain even after the area has completely healed.  BUT, there are other things you can do to fade it back. Patience? Is the key word here for you, it can take from four and even up to 28 months or so to fade, and sometimes could take longer.

Thank goodness, the PIH in general tends to fade back over the months and over time, even without skin rejuvenation treatments. But time is your friend here.

Usually the darker the melanin compared to the original colour surrounding the area, the longer it might take.  Bigger contrast tones – longer period.

Sometimes it might just need a bit of help along the way.



Is it a scar?

Yippee!  No it isn’t fortunately

PIH is called “pseudo scarring” because even though it has left a marking, it has not damaged the follicular cells.


80% of our findings and notations at the Medilase Laser Tattoo Removal Brisbane Clinic pertaining to PIH increase relate to work related solutions and products, which may include caustics from concreting, building resins and solvents are guaranteed to increase issues, these include also thinners & turpentine from painters, glue related products from tilers and builders, and excess sun on the treated area. The action of “rubbing” with cloths to remove products stuck on the skin will also guarantee increased PIH.

Monitor your skin for work related products or even lifestyle related products which cause further irritation.

What can I do to help things along?

Products which are topical which may assist.

In all cases, ensure you have consulted with your professional clinicians and/or your GP before venturing to topical creams.

Glycolic Acid based products and Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) will over time help the appearance of PIH.  They help move the cells and improve the skins exfoliation.

Your GP or dermatologist may prescribe a stronger AHA treatment.  Give it a go.


Hydroquinone blocking the enzyme responsible for melanin production which is the cause of the PIH.

Combinations of Hydroquinone creams are available, once again discuss the option you’re

Topical Retinoids. Azelaic Acid, Retin A, are all products which assist in lightening of the skin, with varying results.

So what might I be able to use to treat this PIH

Clinical Treatments

Considerations from professional clinicians might include Micro needling, microdermabrasion’s or even peels. You will need multiple sessions generally spaced 2 weeks apart, depending upon what you have decided to do of course.  Your professional will advise you.

For very light PIH there are multiple products readily available, as over the counter items, check with your pharmacist.

Prescription medications:  will work even better, perhaps go see your very own dermatologist.

Use sunscreen every day. If you haven’t done so the skin will darken even more.

Discuss any of these options with your dermatologist before proceeding.

Sources: Chrisse Feros Founding Director, Medilase Laser Tattoo Removal Brisbane

Medilase Call 0426 444 556

Posted in: General.
Last Modified: April 2, 2019