Discover the essential facts about Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation in acne scars. This comprehensive guide by Wellaholic provides expert insights tailored for a Singaporean audience. Learn about causes, treatments, and prevention to achieve your best skin yet.

10 Facts About Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation in Acne Scars

TL:DR Summary

  • The What and Why of PIH Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH) is often the aftermath of acne, caused by excess melanin during skin healing.
  • Not a Life Sentence Contrary to popular belief, PIH isn’t permanent but can last years if untreated.
  • Treatment Galore in Singapore From chemical peels to IPL therapy, Singapore offers a myriad of effective treatments for PIH.
  • Sunscreen is Your BFF Sun exposure worsens PIH, making broad-spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen a must-have.
  • Skincare Routine Matters Incorporate vitamin C, niacinamide, and retinol to lighten hyperpigmentation effectively.
  • When DIY Fails, Go Pro If over-the-counter solutions don’t work, consult a dermatologist for a tailored treatment plan.
The table provides a straightforward, step-by-step guide on using Kojic Acid Soap for hyperpigmentation and dark spots, including specific actions, detailed descriptions for each step, and helpful tips to enhance effectiveness and minimize skin irritation.
How to Use Kojic Acid Soap for Hyperpigmentation and Dark Spots


In my journey through the aesthetics industry, both at Wellaholic and previously at Laser Clinics Australia, I’ve encountered numerous individuals battling acne and its after-effects.

One common concern that surfaces is post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), especially in those with acne scars. It’s a condition that can linger long after the acne clears, leaving behind dark spots that many wish to fade. Understanding PIH is the first step to effectively managing it.

Through interactions with customers and continuous learning from industry experts, I’ve compiled 10 essential facts about PIH, particularly in relation to acne scars.

What is Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation?

Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation, or PIH, is a form of skin discoloration that occurs after an inflammatory wound has started to heal.

I’ve seen post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, or PIH, in so many of my clients over the years. It’s a type of skin discolouration that pops up after inflammation or injury to the skin. Acne is the most common trigger, but things like cuts, rashes, and burns can cause it too. You’re basically left with these flat, darkened patches that can range from tan to brown or even black.

PIH happens because your skin cells go into hyperdrive producing pigment while trying to heal. The more inflammation there is, the darker and larger the patches tend to be. While it can affect anyone, I notice PIH is more common and more intense in my clients with deeper skin tones. The pigment can build up in the epidermis, the skin’s surface layer, or leak into the dermis below.

The good news is, PIH isn’t dangerous, just frustrating. Those stubborn dark marks can last for months or even years without the right care. But don’t lose hope! In my experience, you can speed up healing with a dedicated treatment plan. Sunscreen is a must to prevent further darkening[3]. I also recommend brightening ingredients like vitamin C, niacinamide, and azelaic acid.

Why Does PIH Occur?

PIH happens in the upper layer of your skin, the epidermis, or deeper in the dermis. I notice it’s more common and intense the darker your skin tone is. That’s because your melanocytes, the pigment-producing cells, are more active. Sun exposure can darken the patches even more. The marks can stick around for months if not treated.

So what causes that initial inflammation that triggers PIH? I see it most with acne, but it can also come from burns, bug bites, cuts, or rashes. Essentially, any trauma or irritation to the skin can kick off the excess melanin production. Understanding the root cause of your PIH is instrumental in tailoring a personalized treatment regimen. The key is stopping the triggering inflammation and fading the dark patches with the right combo of skincare and in-office treatments.

Is PIH Permanent?

One of the most common misconceptions about PIH is that it’s permanent. While it can be persistent, it’s generally not a permanent condition. With the right treatment and skincare regimen, you can significantly reduce the appearance of PIH. However, untreated PIH can last for years, making timely intervention crucial.

When my clients come to me with post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), I let them know they have options. In Singapore, we're lucky to have access to a whole range of treatments. It's like a buffet spread, from topical creams you can smooth on at home to high-tech procedures in the clinic. But with so many choices, it's easy to get overwhelmed.

Treatment Options in Singapore

When my clients come to me with post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), I let them know they have options. In Singapore, we’re lucky to have access to a whole range of treatments. It’s like a buffet spread, from topical creams you can smooth on at home to high-tech procedures in the clinic. But with so many choices, it’s easy to get overwhelmed.

That’s where I come in, to help guide you to the best picks for your unique skin. Chemical peels are often my go-to. They work by removing the darkened, damaged top layers of skin. Microdermabrasion is another favourite – it’s like gently sanding down your skin to even out the tone. And if we need to bring in the big guns, there’s Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) therapy. It zaps the pigment with targeted light energy to break it up.

But here’s the thing: your skin tells its own story. What works for your best friend or that beauty blogger might not be the perfect fit for you. That’s why I always recommend sitting down with a skin specialist to map out a personalized plan. They’ll be your guide, helping you navigate all the options to find the tools that will get you the results you’re after. Trust me, with the right treatments in your corner, brighter, more even-toned skin is within reach!

Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 every day, even on cloudy days

Role of Sunscreen

When you’re out and about under the sun, it can make Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (that’s PIH for short) become more noticeable, which is why slathering on sunscreen is a super important step in your skincare game. Think of a broad-spectrum sunscreen, one with a minimum SPF 30 rating, as your skin’s best buddy that shields those spots from the harsh sun rays.

This way, the affected areas won’t darken even more. And just like how you’d reapply lip balm to keep your lips from getting dry, you want to reapply your sunscreen every two hours while you’re hanging out outdoors to keep that protection going strong.

Importance of a Skincare Routine

If you’re dealing with post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), a solid skincare routine is your best friend. Trust me, I’ve seen the difference it makes for my clients. It’s all about consistency – showing up for your skin every day with the right products. But with so many options out there, it’s easy to get lost in the skincare sauce.

That’s why I always recommend looking for certain MVP ingredients. Vitamin C, niacinamide, and retinol are like the holy trinity for fading dark spots. Vitamin C is the brightening superstar, niacinamide keeps things calm and balanced, and retinol puts in the overnight shift to smooth and even. They’re like a dream team, working together to get your skin back on track.

Wellaholic is offering this treatment called Gold RF Microneedling for Face and Neck, and it's all about giving your skin a rejuvenating boost. It's like a double whammy of goodness – microneedling and radiofrequency technology combined

When to Seek Professional Help

I know how frustrating it can be when you’ve tried every product on the shelf and every DIY hack on the internet, but those dark spots just won’t budge. Trust me, I’ve been there. It’s easy to feel like you’re out of options. But that’s when I tell my clients it’s time to call in the big guns – a dermatologist.

These skin pros are like the wizards of the beauty world. They’ve got the knowledge and tools to take your skincare to the next level. They don’t just glance at your skin and hand you a generic prescription. They get up close and personal, really studying what makes your skin unique.

That’s the key to getting results – a customized approach. A dermatologist will create a treatment plan that’s tailored to your specific skin type, concerns, and goals. They might recommend in-office treatments like chemical peels or laser therapy, or prescribe stronger topical medications. With their expertise in your corner, you can finally say goodbye to those stubborn dark spots and hello to the clear, even complexion you’ve been dreaming of.

Prevention is Better Than Cure

Taking steps to prevent Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH) is much wiser compared to addressing it after it has occurred. It’s kind of like it’s easier to avoid making a mess than to clean it up later. So, one of the key things to remember is to resist the temptation of picking at acne or other skin injuries, no matter how much they itch or bother you, because this action can cause further irritation. When the skin gets irritated, it responds by becoming inflamed, and this inflammation can lead to PIH. It’s a bit like when you keep poking a bear, it’s going to get angry and react, similarly, your skin reacts by getting inflamed and then this can lead to those darker patches known as PIH.


Dealing with Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation from acne scars is a common issue here in Singapore, but it’s not unbeatable. With the right guidance, treatments, and care, clearer and healthier skin is within reach. At Wellaholic, we’ve honed our expertise in Gold RF Microneedling and Microneedling facial treatments over many years, guiding many towards better skin and well-being. Your trust in us as your reliable wellness partner motivates us to continually provide effective and professional treatments. Thank you for making us a part of your journey towards enhanced skin health and overall wellness.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q1: Are there any natural remedies for treating Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation in Singapore?

Answer: Yes, there are natural remedies like aloe vera, turmeric, and lemon juice that are popular in Singapore for treating PIH. However, the effectiveness of these remedies varies from person to person.

Q2: How does Singapore’s humid climate affect Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation?

Answer: Singapore’s humid climate can exacerbate skin conditions, including PIH. Excessive moisture can lead to more frequent acne breakouts, which in turn can cause more PIH. It’s crucial to adapt your skincare routine to suit the local climate.

Q3: Is Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation more common in certain skin types?

Answer: Yes, PIH tends to be more common in darker skin tones due to the higher levels of melanin. However, it can affect individuals of all skin types.

Q4: Can makeup effectively cover up Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation?

Answer: While makeup can temporarily cover up PIH, it’s not a long-term solution. For lasting results, consider treatment options like chemical peels or microneedling treatments offered at Wellaholic.

Q5: Are there any side effects to the treatments for Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation?

Answer: Side effects depend on the type of treatment. Some common side effects include redness, irritation, and peeling. Always consult a healthcare provider for a treatment that suits your skin condition. Wellaholic offers safe and effective treatments for PIH.

Q6: How long does it typically take to see results from treatments for Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation?

Answer: The time to see results can vary depending on the severity of the PIH and the type of treatment. Some treatments offer quicker results, while others may take several sessions.

With over 8 years of experience in the aesthetics industry, I am passionate about enhancing beauty and wellness through innovative, science-based approaches. As the Aesthetic Director at Wellaholic, I am committed to delivering exceptional services that are tailored to each client's unique needs. My expertise spans across advanced skincare treatments, body sculpting, hair removal services, and nutritional supplements, all aimed at helping clients achieve their personal best.

Serene Chiam, Aesthetic Director

Serene Chiam is the Aesthetic Director at Wellaholic, a well-known aesthetic chain in Singapore. She has more than ten years of experience in the aesthetics industry. With a Bachelor of Health Science (Aesthetics) and CIDESCO certifications, she expertly combines scientific knowledge with practical skills. Serene is known for her personalized approach to beauty, ensuring each Wellaholic client’s journey is unique and transformative. Her significant contributions have been pivotal in establishing Wellaholic’s reputation for excellence in aesthetic wellness.

Contact Serene at


Book Now Pay Later

Bar - WellaFacial

Gold RF Microneedling Facial

  • Uses Up to 64 Micro Needles. Gold RF Microneedling: Ultimate anti-aging treatment with 64 needles to penetrate the skin, release RF energy, and trigger collagen and elastin production for a clearer complexion and firmer skin
  • Safe and Minimally Invasive. Gold RF Microneedling is a safe, minimally invasive.
  • Effectively Treats Acne Scars, Pigmentation & Wrinkles. Extremely effective aesthetic treatment for treating acne scars, pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Stimulates Collagen Growth. Gold RF Microneedling stimulates collagen and elastin for new, youthful-looking skin.
  • Award-Winning. Wellaholic’s treatments have been recognized by top beauty publications such as Daily Vanity, Beauty Insider, and Tropika Club Magazine.
  • Over 2000 Verified Customer Reviews. Wellaholic has over 30 industry awards and over 2000 positive reviews from customers, and >50% are repeat customers.
Science of Gold RF Microneedling offered by Wellaholic

Unveiling the Truth: 10 Facts About Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation in Acne Scars and Effective Skincare Tips in Singapore

Discover expert insights on beauty, hair removal, facials, regrowth, teeth whitening, and more at Wellaholic - Singapore's top aesthetic chain.