A flat area of discoloration on the skin that is left behind after an injury has healed. It is part of the skin's natural healing process. Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) often results because of inflamed pimples, nodules, and/or cysts. PIH spots range in color from pink to red, purple, or brown. It can occur anywhere on the face or body.
Often thought to be a scar, PIH is not permanent. It typically fades away within 3 to 12 months. Treatment with Retin A, hydroquinone, azelaic acid, chemical peels, or microdermabrasion can speed the fading process.