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How to Cure Pimple Hyperpigmentation

How to Cure Pimple Hyperpigmentation


Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) is a common complaint among people with darker skin tones who suffer from acne. Although the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) states that these are not scars, darker spots can linger at the pimple site--sometimes for up to six months. The good news is that pimple hyperpigmentation eventually goes away. But there are measures you can take to expedite the fading process.

Step 1

Wear oil-free sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 whenever you go outdoors. The AAD cautions that sun exposure can cause hyperpigmentation to become worse. Apply the sunscreen at least 20 minutes before you go outside, making sure to cover all exposed areas of skin. Sunscreen use is important, even if you have very dark skin.

Step 2

Use a fading cream purchased from the drugstore, pharmacy or market that contains no more than 2 percent hydroquinone, the amount that is acceptable by law in such products. The AAD warns if you don't know how much hydroquinone the fading cream contains, don't use it--too much hydroquinone can cause skin discoloration that's impossible to remedy.

Step 3

Contact your dermatologist if pimple hyperpigmentation doesn't resolve or if you want to pursue more aggressive treatment. There are numerous prescription topical medications that may work better, such as use of a combination of hydroquinone, a corticosteroid and tretinoin; or tretinoin (alone), tazarotene, adapalene or azelaic acid. In-office treatments may include a light chemical peel, microdermabrasion or laser treatments.

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