Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation is a temporary pigmentation that follows and injury. Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation is defined as an acquired disorder of excess pigment deposition. The occurrence of hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation after inflammation is a common condition and is caused by increased synthesis of melanin following skin inflammation. However post inflammatory hypopigmentation is usually permanent. People who have dark complexions and who tan easily tend to have more intense post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Because of the already heavy pigment in their skin. The distribution of post inflammatory pigmentation depends on the location of the original inflammation and can be distinguished in epidermal, dermal or mixed. If the pigment is located in the epidermis, the colour will range from light brown to black, if it is in the dermis the colour will range from dark gray to bluish colour. When looking under a woods lamp or UV lamps, epidermal lesions tend to be well circumscribed with pigment enhancement whereas dermal lesions and mixed lesions are less well demarcated and intensify less. Hyperpigmented disorders of the skin pose a significant esthetic problem for people suffering the condition because of the visual aspect of the disorder. This can lead to further anxiety/stress which may exacerbate and create further skin disorders. Some causes for post inflammatory hyperpigmentation include:
- Skin trauma
- Application of skin irritants, Psoriasis
- Drug reactions
- Skin infections
- Lichen simplex
- Allergic reactions
Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation follows damage to the epidermis and to the dermis with deposition of melanin within the keratinocyte cells.
Hyperpigmentation resolves over time though it is important to avoid UV exposure as this will intensify and darken the pigmentation.
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