Recent recommendations from the South Beach Symposium, published in Skin & Allergy News, reiterate the importance of treating inflammatory acne early in patients with skin of color. Darker skin types are more susceptible to a type of acne scarring called post-inflammatory pigmentation. Post-inflammatory pigmentation presents as dark spots left behind after inflammatory acne lesions resolve. Dr. Schweiger explains that, “Inflammatory acne in skin of color should be treated aggressively, as prolonged inflammation increases the risk of post-inflammatory pigmentation.” Dr. Schweiger recommends a combination treatment with topical antimicrobials and topical retinoids, in addition to oral medications when appropriate. In-office treatments, such as Photodynamic Therapy and Isolaz Treatment, can address both active acne and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation in order to decrease the risk of scarring.
Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation can be treated with a combination of topical medications, such as hydroquinone or Tazorac, chemical peels and the Fraxel Laser treatment. The Fraxel Laser treatment is the most effective treatment for post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Four treatments are generally required to decrease the appearance of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. The Fraxel Laser also treats other types of acne scarring, such as atrophic (“pitted”) acne scars.