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brianneuhh

Hyperpigmentation Or Something Else? (Pictures Included)

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Alright, let's start with some background! I've been suffering from acne since I was 13, and I am now 18. I was not very educated on how to deal with acne back then so I picked and picked away, making my skin problems even worse. But I have recently managed to get about 85% of my usual active acne flare ups under control. So now my main problem is all of these left over red marks on my face.
I have been assuming for a while that it's all just post inflammatory hyperpigmentation, but the thing is, I've been dealing with these red marks for years. And from what I've learned and read, PIH usually fades over time, and well... time has definitely passed and I haven't seen much improvement. So that is making me question whether this is actually hyperpigmentation or maybe some other skin problem.
Assuming it's PIH, I looked into chemical peels. But with my busy work and school schedule, the downtime after a peel is a concern for me. So I've been using a very light mandelic acid peel. And while that has definitely helped my overall skin texture, I haven't seen any improvement in these stubborn red marks.
So does anyone have any recommendations or advice on dealing with this? And am I truly only dealing with post inflammatory hyperpigmentation or could it be something else?
Thanks so much in advance!

post-211974-0-44637700-1415945401.jpg

post-211974-0-70925400-1415945410.jpg

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If these red spots did come from active acne then yes I would assume its just hyperpigmentation. I would just continue using your mandelic acid peels, if you feel the peel has begun to lose its effectiveness try increasing the strength or moving up to lactic acid which is also very gentle and great for PIH. You can also possibly look into retin-a it's more useful for people with active acne but it works for PIH as it doubles the turnover rate of your skin cells. Just know it takes time for PIH to fade (Some of my hyperpigmentation has just now faded after 10 months of retin-a and peels), fortunately it looks like you didn't scar from your picking and the PIH is just temporary and if its any consolation it doesn't look bad at all. Just keep doing what you're doing and it will be gone with time, make sure to keep your active acne under control to prevent future PIH. Good-luck!

EDIT: Also invest into a good sun-screen if you have not already, being out in the sun will cause PIH to darken further without sunscreen essentially halting or reversing any progress you might be making otherwise.

Edited by Fork889
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If these red spots did come from active acne then yes I would assume its just hyperpigmentation. I would just continue using your mandelic acid peels, if you feel the peel has begun to lose its effectiveness try increasing the strength or moving up to lactic acid which is also very gentle and great for PIH. You can also possibly look into retin-a it's more useful for people with active acne but it works for PIH as it doubles the turnover rate of your skin cells. Just know it takes time for PIH to fade (Some of my hyperpigmentation has just now faded after 10 months of retin-a and peels), fortunately it looks like you didn't scar from your picking and the PIH is just temporary and if its any consolation it doesn't look bad at all. Just keep doing what you're doing and it will be gone with time, make sure to keep your active acne under control to prevent future PIH. Good-luck!

EDIT: Also invest into a good sun-screen if you have not already, being out in the sun will cause PIH to darken further without sunscreen essentially halting or reversing any progress you might be making otherwise.

Thank you so much for the reply! I definitely already have a good suncreen because I know how important sun protection is when it comes to these spots, and skin in general.

What peel do you find is best from your experience? Because I do have a lactic acid as well. But i havent used it yet because I love how gentle the mandelic is.

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From my observation, I would say this is PIH. I suffered from painful cysts that left unsightly red marks. It took maybe 4-6 months for the "marks" to completely go away. Unfortunately, PIH takes an enormous amount of time to go away, I suggest to exfoliate 1-2 times a week and a chemical peel to hasten skin renewal. I implore you to wear sunscreen everyday even when it's cloudy to prevent existing PIH to darken. Make sure your sunscreen is broad-spectrum with at least SPF 15.

I know how it feels, it's disheartening to know that your acne is FINALLY "cleared" for the most part, but now you have to deal with another unsightly monster ( PIH ) which can takes months to go away.

Edited by KimchiiMonsturr
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