Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation - Dark Skin

Pigmentation and Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation - PIH is a common problem in dark skin types.

This also includes patients of mixed backgrounds who have more darkly pigmented skin. Darker skin type people represent a significant and growing group of patients seeking aesthetic procedures. This is because of the increased awareness of safe, affordable aesthetic procedures. These procedures include amazing new lasers that are colour blind and are less invasive than previous generations of lasers. Yet special concerns have to be addressed when treating skin of color.

People with darker skin tones are prone to certain skin problems. One of the most common is hyperpigmentation, or dark spots. These spots are caused by an insult to deeply pigmented skin, such as acne, a cut, or a disorder such as psoriasis.

Melanocytes are very sensitive cells and can either stop producing color- hypopigmentation or produce excessive color in cases of inflammation- post inflammatory hyperpigmentation PIH which is most commonly seen in areas where acne blemishes heal, leaving a dark spot behind. These too will fade with time; however, it can be quite persistent.

Skin Renewal Tip - Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation PIH

The traditional way to treat Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation or PIH has been to bleach the darkened pigment using hydroquinone based products which in South Africa is only available by doctors prescription. Still, despite best efforts with bleaching agents and exfoliation treatments, pigment from PIH can be stubborn and long lasting. There is a ‘something’ missing in conventional fading creams. Most have side effects.

For most people with dark skin, treating pigmentation is like taking one step forward and one step back. The challenge is to take care of dark skin, fade the dark spots / pigmentation and heal it without further causing rebound hyper pigmentation which results from irritation of the skin

Frequently Asked Questions

Treatment for Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation or PIH in black skin is available in Johannesburg, Sandton and Pretoria at the Morningside, Parkhurst, Bedfordview, Fourways, Illovo, West Rand, Irene, Brooklyn branches as well as in the Western Cape at Cape Quarter, Claremont, Constantia, Stellenbosch and Willowbridge branches and KwaZulu Natal in Umhlanga & Durban.

Skin Renewal is pleased to be able to offer the “something” missing in conventional fading creams. The following new topicals are available at Skin Renewal and can be used on ALL Skin types.

  • At Skin Renewal we offer the gold Standard for pigmentation, Hydroquinone which is available on prescription. The use of HQ is strictly controlled at Skin Renewal.
  • To prevent sensitivity from Hydroquinone, we include products which prevent the irritation that occurs with HQ in our prescription pigmentation corrective creams.
  • We offer the highly effective depigmentation topical creams: Dermamelan Maintenance Cream and Cosmelan 2
  • We offer pigmentation serums with recent advances in pigmentation technology-pigmentation peptides in our home care products. This includes the Brighter Concentrate and Luminesce ranges by Lamelle. Brighter concentrate uses peptide technology to reduce melanin at eight points in its production, as opposed to just one point as with other traditional lightening treatments.
  • Lymixyl, decapeptide pigmentation topical , developed at Stanford University is also available
  • Pigmentation ranges by top cosmeceuticals houses Neostrata are available at all Skin Renewal branches.
  • In House topical brightening agents have been specially developed for Skin Renewal. The Skin Renewal brand includes traditional brightening products such as Kojic, Arbutin, Nicotinamide amongst others.
  • Topical anti oxidants that protect against infra red A, a newly discovered deep wavelength which causes accelerated ageing and pigmentation, is also available at all Skin Renewal branches.
  • At Skin Renewal it is mandatory that one of the home brightening products mentioned above be used routinely for 2 weeks on the entire problem area before any exfoliation treatment is done such as peels. A visit to one of our doctors who are experienced in treating skin of colour is mandatory before any procedure. The cost of the consultation will be redeemed after your first peel/treatment at Skin Renewal.

In Office Treatments available at Skin Renewal;

  • Superficial peels. At Skin Renewal we have twenty different kinds of superficial peels on offer which improve pigmentation. With a series of peels you can quickly achieve substantial improvement in the uneven pigmentation, while making your skin look and feel softer, smoother, and more radiant. Please see our peel chart which indicates which peels can be done on your skin type.
  • The Yellow peel is a full epidermal peel for PIH that is resistant to treatment with normal superficial AHA and BHA peels.
  • Transdermal Mesotherapy with prescription Brightening products done straight after our peels improves the final result by removing deep dermal pigment.
  • Cosmelan and Dermamelan mask treatments together with the home maintenance products offer superior results for resistant pigmentation.
  • Laser Genesis: The epidermis renews itself every six weeks, by six months, any pigment from PIH is probably in the dermis. Traditional skin rejuvenation treatments such as peels, microdermabrasion and bleaching agents are not successful for pigment such as PIH that has leached into the dermis. That is when the use of certain lasers such as the long pulsed Nd Yag become effective to safely treat darker skin including skin type 6. The Laser Genesis procedure by Cutera gently heat the dermis, causing cavitation bubbles, which disrupt the unwanted dermal pigment, breaking it into smaller particles which are able to move upward to the epidermis where it can be easily removed with exfoliation.
  • PDT Red Light post peel reduces inflammation and evens out skin tone.
  • Our Brightening Intravenous infusions with brightening anti oxidants such as glutathione which work intracellularly to remove resistant pigment. An overall lighter and even skin tone can be expected.


See all reviews
*Please note results may vary by individuals.
Review -skin renewal review at Illovo
Reviewed on 30 October 2016 by Anonymous

Excellent, always friendly and very accurate. Always have smiles on their faces and very helpful

Review -hyperpigmentation
Reviewed on 31 March 2016 by Karen Ragwan

I have been through such a traumatic experience for the past three years with hyperpigmentation on my face and neck that made me become a shy reserved woman in opposition to who I really am. I had tried so many treatments on my skin by therapists and doctors that seem to only use me as a trial and test, and spending such large amounts of money in order to get back to my original flawless skin nothing worked, out of sheer desperation and stress I found Umhlanga Skin Renewal and I just thank God daily, I can now look at my face in the mirror with tears of joy and not pain and sadness ..the doctors and staff are all brilliant, their individual care and concern makes me feel like a princess, Roxanne 'my special therapist' I call her is brilliant and professional and makes sure she treats you with care and answers all your questions and puts your mind at ease, her treatment of my skin has showed such amazing results from day one that even my peers are amazed , she researches and gives me the best treatment and always reminds me how beautiful i am on the days i don't feel so good a big thank u Roxanne for your care and super job on my skin....who knows soon the cat walks in Milan and Paris will be calling my name and I will take you along Roxanne..thank you to Chantal the branch manager for always checking up on my appointments as well I am truly blessed now ..its an awesome feeling knowing that my skin is looking more beautiful daily thank you to all of you

Review -skin renewal review
Reviewed on 18 December 2015 by F L

Consistently a great experience. Always a pleasure coming to skin renewal. Staff is professional and facility is always clean and beautiful presented

Review -Excellent at Skin Renewal Illovo
Reviewed on 14 December 2015 by Genevieve Edwards

Each and every visit has been met with unbelievable professionalism, kindness, smile and they have always been super accommodating with all my requests. I continue to return simply because of the staff and their brilliance and the drastic improvement of my skin.

Review -Interesting dermapen experience
Reviewed on 9 October 2015 by Khanyisa Chauke

So far it has been an interesting experience doing the dermapen alternating with the peel/laser genesis. Carmen has been quite gentle with me explaining to me the process and what I should expect, of which I really do appreciate.

Review -Cosmelan is amazing!
Reviewed on 17 August 2015 by K.M from Cape Quarter

The Cosmelan treatment is the best thing that ever happened to my skin. Pigmentation is almost gone, my skin texture is amazing and my skin looks radiant. My skin therapist was amazing, she followed up with me and answered all my questions. Cosmelan is amazing!

Review -First treatment
Reviewed on 15 June 2015 by Carien Moolman

This was my first laser treatment to any area of my face. Heather was very communicative and transparent about what I could expect during the treatment as well as in the coming weeks, which I appreciated greatly. Now to wait and see what the effect will be! My next treatment is in 2 weeks' time.

Review -I am renewed
Reviewed on 30 January 2015 by M.L.B from Skin Renewal Fourways

I used skin brightening with Hydroquinone on my skin, my face had two colours. Thanks to my Dr, for a non-surgical solution. I now have my confidence back, I can go out without wearing any make-up. I am renewed. Thanks to Dr and the staff. You're forever smiling and reminding me of my appointments. Stay blessed.

Review -Brilliant service Brilliant Results!
Reviewed on 24 September 2014 by TM from Skin Renewal Fourways

I had struggled with hyper pigmentation for as long as I could remember until I started the Skin Renewal hyper pigmentation treatments. Beverley is a wonderful therapist. Knows her stuff and takes time to explain treatments and makes me feel comfortable

Review -Happy with Results
Reviewed on 19 September 2014 by Constance Mabela

My skin has really improved since undergoing the treatments. I'm very happy with the results and very lucky to have such a wonderful consultant (Bianca)

Review -Feel Like a Queen
Reviewed on 16 September 2014 by Marthina Phiri

The experience is always breathtaking.One is given utmost attention and made to feel like queen .My therapist Bianca is friendly and reliable .I can call at anytime and she is happy to assist every time.

Review -Feels Like home
Reviewed on 13 September 2014 by Anonymous

From the first time I got to Skin Renewal Brooklyn, being black and a male not knowing much about beauty stuff, the staff made me feel at home. Their patience and attention to customers issues is top notch! I used to visit another practice but I don't think I well move to another one. Everybody is like family here now.

Review -Positive Energy
Reviewed on 11 September 2014 by Anonymous

Immediately you walk in your just greeted by a welcoming, conducive environment that makes you feel more relaxed with positive energy. Staff members very calm, knowledgeable, professional and showing interest and passion with their work. I always look forward for my treatment.

Review -Amazing and helpful
Reviewed on 10 September 2014 by Anonymous

I have been coming to Skin renewal for the past few months. So far i'm very happy with my treatments. It also helps that my therapist is amazing and very helpful.

Review -Professional and Ubuntu
Reviewed on 10 September 2014 by Lerato Lorraine Mashigo

The clinic is very clean and beautiful, it makes you feel very welcome.The staff are very friendly to everyone who comes through the doors. When they treat you, you feel more free than home. I do not regret coming through the door. They are also accommodating for people like me who talk to much and I appreciate it!

Review -Brilliant service at Brooklyn!
Reviewed on 6 September 2014 by Kume Lunhani

My therapist, Andrea, is the most fantastic and meticulous therapist I have ever had. My treatments with her have been quite enjoyable and beyond 'just a facial', keep it up! Sue-Anne has been the most helpful and always willing to give advice and tips on my skin treatment with a smile on her face, always! Skin Renewal is definitely my one-stop shop for all things skin:)

Review -Enjoyed every minute
Reviewed on 5 September 2014 by Shirley Burger

Larushka was amazing- enjoyed every minute of my facial and will most definitely come again.

Review -Best Service & Friendly staff
Reviewed on 4 September 2014 by Anonymous

Skin Renewal - Brooklyn - Best Service & Friendly staff, would always walk the extra mile to help! I always feel welcome and can't wait for my next appointment.

Review -Overall Impressed!
Reviewed on 3 September 2014 by Anonymous

Had an excellent time, staff always welcoming. Doctor explained everything upfront and I am overall impressed.

Review -My confidence is back and I feel good!
Reviewed on 2 September 2014 by Anonymous

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Dr Lestonn and the team for the good work they have done on my skin. My confidence is back and I feel very good and just over the moon that my youthful skin is coming back thanks to the products that have been recommended. I am looking forward to the total workout and the best results.

Review -Experiencing excellent results and treatments
Reviewed on 2 September 2014 by Yasmin Hoosen

Experiencing excellent results and treatments. The therapist (Candice) is excellent. She explains very well before and after therapy. She is very patient and I have had good results with her treatment. Thank you Candice- Well done and keep up the good work and great sense of humour.