Post-inflammatory erythema (PIE) is a common skin condition that occurs after an inflammatory event, such as acne, rosacea, or a skin injury. PIE is characterized by red or pink marks on the skin that can last for weeks or even months after the initial inflammation has resolved. In this blog post, we will discuss what causes PIE, how to prevent it, and the various treatment options available.
Causes of Post-Inflammatory Erythema
PIE occurs when inflammation causes blood vessels in the skin to dilate, resulting in red or pink marks on the skin. It can be triggered by a variety of inflammatory events, including acne, rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, and skin injuries. PIE is more common in people with fair skin and those with a history of sun damage.
Prevention of Post-Inflammatory Erythema
The best way to prevent PIE is to prevent the underlying inflammatory event that causes it. This may involve taking steps to prevent acne, such as keeping the skin clean, avoiding oily or greasy products, and using non-comedogenic skincare products. For those with rosacea, avoiding triggers such as hot drinks, spicy foods, and alcohol can help prevent flare-ups.
It's also important to protect the skin from the sun, as sun exposure can exacerbate PIE. This can be done by wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and avoiding sun exposure during peak hours.
Treatment Options for Post-Inflammatory Erythema
Topical treatments are often the first line of defense against PIE. These include topical steroids, azelaic acid, niacinamide, and vitamin C. Topical steroids can reduce inflammation and redness, while azelaic acid, niacinamide, and vitamin C can help even out skin tone and reduce redness.
Laser treatments can be effective in treating PIE by targeting blood vessels in the skin and reducing redness. One popular laser treatment for PIE is the pulsed dye laser (PDL), which can selectively target blood vessels in the skin without damaging surrounding tissue.
Chemical peels can also be effective in treating PIE by exfoliating the skin and reducing redness. Chemical peels work by removing the top layer of skin, revealing fresher, smoother skin underneath. They can be done in-office or at home, but it's important to consult with a dermatologist before trying any at-home treatments.
Microneedling involves using a device with small, sterile needles to puncture the skin and stimulate collagen production. This can help reduce redness and improve the overall texture and appearance of the skin.
Post-inflammatory erythema can be a frustrating condition to deal with, but there are a variety of treatment options available. The best way to prevent PIE is to prevent the underlying inflammatory event that causes it, such as acne or rosacea. Topical treatments, laser treatments, chemical peels, and microneedling can all be effective in treating PIE, but it's important to consult with a dermatologist to determine the best course of treatment for your individual needs.
Postinflammatory hyperpigmentation and erythema, Dermatology Times, https://www.dermatologytimes.com/view/postinflammatory-hyperpigmentation-and-erythema
Postinflammatory erythema: How to treat the after effects of acne, Dermatology News, https://www.mdedge.com/dermatology/article/152015/acne/postinflammatory-erythema-how-treat-after-effects-acne
Postinflammatory erythema, American Academy of Dermatology