Whether the injury is from a home treatment like the situation above, or an accident, or a laser treatment gone wrong, the way skin heals itself is often similar. First, red and sometimes crusty, then no crust but purple or red, and gradually fading to pink and then back to normal. Except sometimes it heals with extra pigment.
FAQ: Why does skin then form extra pigment, create PIH (post inflammatory hyperpigmentation)? It’s because the inflammation from the healing wound also activates the pigment making cells (melanocytes).
FAQ: Why does the pigment last so long? The length of time it lasts depends on the depth of the problem. The pigment cells live mostly at the base of the barrier layer (epidermis) so disturbing that layer causes the most problems.
Tips to help you:
- Let your skin rest. How long? Anywhere from 2-12 months. Tretinoin is irritating for many so hold off until most or all of the redness it gone. If you start it, and gets irritated again, back off for a few more months.
- Use a pigment fighter cream. That can be something with a hydroquinone in it from your doctor (prescription) or on of the plant based lighteners like our Uneven Pigment Fighter in the shop or Discoloration Defense.
- Don’t abrade, pick at, or exfoliate the area. Scrubs, peels etc. only cause more irritation in this situation. Just let the skin rest. Resist the temptation to pick off scale or crusts (scabs).
- Use lots of sunscreen, moisturizers and a silicone based gel. Keep the area really moist and pliable. Lot of 20% zinc sunscreen if the area is light exposed at all. Silicone based gels like Siligen are helpful. They hold hydration in the healing area.
- Watch carefully for signs of infection. These can be subtle. If the area isn’t healing, please see your doctor. A culture is helpful to know if antibiotics really are needed.
Hope this helps,
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