Exactly what are those red and brown dark marks that show up after a breakout? Here, we break it down with SLMD founder and board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Sandra Lee (aka Dr. Pimple Popper).
Spoiler alert: these spots — not technically blemish scars at all — will fade over time with the right ingredients and products in your skincare arsenal.
What is post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation?
According to Dr. Sandra Lee, dark spots — aka post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) — is caused by picking, extracting, and just experiencing blemishes, which causes trauma to the skin. These marks are a result of too much melanin being produced as the skin’s response to protect or heal itself.
Depending on your skin tone, they can appear more pink/red or darker brown. She may be Dr. Pimple Popper, but Dr. Lee does not condone popping your own spots — the risk of causing hyperpigmentation among the many reasons.
How to fade post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation
Though dark spots tend to fade over time, there are a few things you can do to speed the process along. Here are Dr. Lee's top tips for healing (and preventing) post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation:
- Exfoliate the skin’s surface: try SLMD Skincare Salicylic Acid Cleanser, which exfoliates to promote a more consistent-looking complexion.
- Encourage even tone: products containing vitamin A, like SLMD Skincare Retinol Serum, promote exfoliation and even skin tone.
- Protect skin from UV rays which can darken existing marks by using sunscreen every day.