What is Post Inflammatory Pigmentation (PIP) and how to treat it?

Is your skin’s natural response to trauma hurting you? Post-Inflammatory Pigmentation, also known as PIP, is a pigmentation type that is formed on the skin caused by an inflammatory response to an injury to the skin causing discoloration. This process is the skin’s natural response to inflammation.

There are two main contributors to PIP, Acne and/or Liver damage. Let’s dive into acne first, as it is the most common type!


Yes, just getting pimples can cause pigmentation. I call this a forever pimple. I know, if getting a pimple is not bad enough, you don’t want a forever pimple on top of that. 

 A Pimple is a form of inflammation, as I stated previously pigmentation is your body’s natural response to inflammation. 

Another way a forever pimple is formed is improper extractions. Yes at home pimple popping is not good! If too much pressure is applied while extracting, it causes a wound to the skin leaving behind pigmentation where your pimple was. PIP from pimples can show up as a circulair red, pink, brown and dark brown spots. 

Liver Damage

Our liver being damaged is a wound and again our body’s natural response is to produce inflammation. 

The liver can become compromised by birth control, hormone replacement therapy, anxiety and antidepressant medications, unhealthy foods, metals, recreational drugs and alcohol. The type of toxin determines the location of damage on the liver and therefore on the face itself. Underneath pigmentation is inflammation in your dermis reflecting a region of the liver. Equilin sulfate (upper face), food preservatives (jawline) and acetaminophen (hands). 

What Are the Best Ways to Get Rid of or Prevent PIP ?

Don’t Pick your Pimples

First and foremost, Don’t pick your acne! No one wants a forever pimple. Its best to leave it alone and let it naturally go away or apply acne spot treatment to it to help is go away. Look for something with salicylic. The salicylic is great at killing off bacteria and reducing inflammation. I highly recommend Circadia’s Spot Stop. This is a magical spot treatment for your pimples that when you put in on at night, in the morning it’s magically gone! This serum also has menthol in it, so when you put it on, the pain of your cyst will immediately go away! 

Detox and Repair your Liver 

Schisandra berry for liver detox.

Activated coconut charcoal to bind to toxins in the gut and flush them out before they get into your system.

Coffee enema to clean the colon and liver with the powerful antioxidant content in coffee.

Use a pigment correcting product 

Using ingredients that will help to brighten and correct your pigmentation spots.  Look for ingredients like vitamin C, Regufade, Symwhite, Nicaminde, and mandelic acid. I love love love the  Bright White Serum. This lightweight milky serum is a powerful spot treatment serum. Its formulated with potent antioxidants and inhibitors of melanin production to brighten skin and reduce the appearance. This spot treatment is great for brightening melasma and pigmented acne scars. 

This blog is apart of the pigment series. Read the rest of the by clicking the link below

Holly is an international award-winning aesthetician and business owner with over 10 years of experience in the aesthetics industry. She was named the 2019 Top International Holistic Esthetician at the Skin Games and has owned BOHO Alternative Med Spa in Allen, TX since 2015. Holly is a wife, mother of five, and a skin fanatic whose personal mission is to help her clients create healthy, glowing skin through alternative methods.

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