Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH) and hirsutism are often related. Because of the constant tweezing, shaving, razor bumps, and waxing, it is likely that your skin will scar up from the extra melanin that works to heal broken skin…thus creating dark spots.
Honestly, many days my PIH bothers me more than the hair. The main reason I am considering laser hair removal again is because I know the dark marks will disappear.
If you click on the link above, the NIH will explain what PIH is, why its worse in darker skinned folks and multiple treatment options.
These treatments include:
- sun screen (crucial)
- chemical peels
- licorice extract
- various types of alpha hydroxy acids
I knew about chemical peels, but soy and licorice were something new to me! The more I looked into correcting my PIH the cheap way, I noticed that I kept coming across microdermabrasion. Microdermabrasion (MDB) is a method of exfoliating dead skin layers to remove and improve worn skin aliments, including PIH. Caution should be taken in doing MDB because it may cause more harm than good if you exfoliate too hard.
Neutrogena and Olay have at-home devices to do MDB which both cost less than $30 and have great reviews. I personally may consider the Olay device.
But until then, I developed a DIY MDB recipe that seems to work great. Baking soda seems to be the top MDB ingredient for DIY MDB, according to the internet. So I used that with some other ingredients:
- Baking Soda
- Lemon juice
- jojoba oil
- Organic Soy Powder
I used Soy and baking soda the most. Sorry I didn’t write down the measurements, but I definitely used those two the most. It came out looking very creamy, not so much pasty like a lot of the baking soda ingredients online:
My DIY microdermabrasion cream. I simply mixed all the ingredients together, and in a circular fashion, put it all over my face and neck. I allowed it to sit for several minutes (almost an hour!) and then I rinsed in the shower.
I actually put it on twice and the first time, my skin did look bright! I liked it so much I did it another time, and am actually still wearing the cream on my face while I type this blog!
But this is a good method to DIY MDB if you cannot afford salon prices according to my extensive internet research.
I will admit: the salon is the best way to go because it will likely deliver the results you want faster. For us hirsute girls, again, the best way to get rid of the PIH is to get rid of the hair.
But this DIY method is a way to try and clear up your PIH just as effectively, but a little slower. Like anything else, it will probably take some time to peel the skin layers back and reveal your true skin tone. And is a good alternative if you (like myself) cannot always afford salon prices! As I stated before, you can also consider at-home chemical peels and always use your sun screen!
I did come across a wonderful salon website in Charlotte, NC that shows very great before and after photos of clients with PIH from acne, razor bumps and hirsutism. It gives you an idea that there is hope!
Seriously, click on this link! The results are great!
So in closing, here is a list of things to manage your PIH:
- Wear sun screen at all times! Typically, a broad spectrum brand! Even in winter! Dark folks need it too, especially for conditions like PIH! It is imperative! I cannot stress this one enough. As a black woman, I assumed my people and other darker pigmented ethnicities simply did not need it because we are already naturally darker than our European counterparts. But the UV rays from the Sun can still damage our skin, making our PIH potentially worse.
- Exfoliate with a MDB scheme. Any good facial scrub directly made for MDB should do the trick but just remember the results will not happen over night, even using a device like the ones sold by Neutrogena and Olay.
- Consider chemical peels! It is one of the best ways to remove damaged skin layers as well as raise ingrown hairs for hirsute folks. I would advise you at least talk to a dermatologist or a medical spa before attempting this one on your own.
- Consider Soy! I have seen soy in Vitamin Shoppe. Apparently, it shows promise with PIH conditions. The only issue I have with this is that many people are allergic to soy. If not, consider some soy supplements or in your beauty regimen. Notice I used it in my DIY MDB mix.
- Consider Mequinol, a Hydroquinone alternative. Because Hydroquinone is believed to be in connection with carcinogens, I did not list it, but Mequinol is a good alternative, as both are very promising in reducing PIH. I believe you can get this as a prescription.
- Consider other treatment options listed here.
- If you can afford it, and need a quick method, just get laser surgery. This is the fastest way to clear up your skin! Try to go during a sale the salon is having. They almost always give package deals.
So as you can see, there is a lot of hope for folks with PIH and there are options without having to run to the salon, spending hundreds on methods that you can probably do at home.