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What is post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation?

Audrey Kunin, MD
Dermatology
I lost count long ago of the number of acne patients returning for their initial 6 to 8 week follow-up concerned about their new acne scars, when, in actuality, there wasn't a scar in site. What they were really noticing was color change. This post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) is not an acne scar. It is the normal remnant of the skin's inflammatory process.

For those with pale skin tones, this aftermath color change is usually pink, red or purple in color. Patients with darker skin tones may notice brown or black spots where their acne once was.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.