The unsightly and black pigmented post inflammatory hyperpigmentation commonly seen as “dark knuckles” in these parts of the world. The wonders of Chemical skin peel can be your best option.
What is Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation and Hyperpigmentation
Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation also known as PIH or Melanosis is a thermal burn that follows a burn or an injury. It is usually observed in darker skin tones. It’s recovery can take up to 24 months or longer. Even shorter.
It is typically caused by acne, skin lightening creams, dermabrasions and topical use of Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA)
Hyperpigmentation is caused by the human skin which contains melanocytes cells, responsible for melanin production. Excess production of melanin can lead to Hyperpigmentation due to high pigment on the skin.
Examples are seen in age spots, freckles and acne. Another source of Hyperpigmentation is sun exposure, skin trauma (my situation), medical conditions or side effects. Some medication can also have side effects, leading to Hyperpigmentation.
There are about 4 types of Hyperpigmentation and the main focus is on post inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH).
While it is ideal to seek medical help and visit a dermatologist, some other treatments can be administered.
My situation is a PIH caused by a second degree burn following topical application of corn/ calluses remover containing 17% BHA (Beta Alpha Hydroxy Acid- Salicylic Acid).
I am a UK size 9 (US 12/ Eur 42). This means I barely find cute shoes in my size. In the past, I forced my feet into size 8s, sometimes 7 (rarely though). This led to corns and skin trauma.
Following that, I found a topical treatment, using the corn remover at 17% Salicylic acid. This liquid was to be placed on the corn to dry it up and the corn is expected to fall off, the amazing Salicylic Acid was to do the needful but it burnt my skin and it’s surrounding areas.
I’m pretty much light-skinned so it was so visible and horrible. I sought out ways to make it look better and it has improved significantly.
This is likened to dark knuckles on the hand and dark toes, burned from skin lightening lotions. They are burns, no?
Treatments: while it is advisable to seek medical attention (especially since I’m not a doctor nor dermatologist), you might want to use:
1. Hydroquinone at 2%: this is commonly used and it is approved by the FDA. Use only on the affected area with advise from your Dermatologist. (p.s- long term use is not advised. It will stop being effective on the skin after six months and your skin will revert to its original skin tone).
2. Lightening lotions with Kojic Acid to inhibit the production of melanin (this might be useful for those with acne). Just to be used on that particular area with PIH. This works similar to Hydroquinone.
3. Retin A and Alpha Hydroxy Acids eg Glycolic Acid. If you are using lightening products, you might have to stop and follow the instructions on the label- Topical applications of AHA and Retinoids are great exfoliants that help rejuvenate the skin and treating PIH
4. Laser treatments
5. Using Chemical peels. This is an amazing way of Chemical skin peel which is less abrasive and should be done properly by a professional. This works by ungluing the dead skin and allowing you peel it off when it looks white and dry. Usually, a baby skin is seen and it is easy to do.
What worked for me
I am still scared of using peels at higher strengths. Infact, I have a 60% undiluted Glycolic Acid solution sitting on my dresser. I’m going to make a lotion for my feet but I’m still holding back. I don’t want no burns. Ok?
Luckily, I found two kinds of solutions a yellow peeling oil I purchased from Ebeano for N9500 and a Glycolacto (Glycolic Acid + Lactic Acid – both are Alpha Hydroxy Acids) peel I purchased for 20 USD.
The Yellow Peeling oil is an easy to use Chemical skin peel. I just follow the instructions on the label and it has not burnt me one day but the results are shocking. Not only have the traumatised skin bounced back, the burns that were once darkened, are beginning to lighten back to my skin tone.
This is because I peel in huge sheets. The dead skin separates from the skin and starts to peel itself. All I need to do is yank it off, because I’m usually too eager to get it out quickly but I don’t pick it or force it off. It’s just amazing. If your skin is sensitive, please use the green peeling oil.
Guess who has been wearing open flats now? Hey!!!
This will work wonders on dark knuckles.
If you’re lightening your skin and have gotten burns and dark knuckles from that, reconsider your choices and make sure you see a dermatologist.
If you use the peels, keep away from soaps. Once you wash your hands (long after the peeling is over), please moisture with a good lotion or rich oils.
Today I’m using the Glycolacto again for the fourth time, since my skin is better now.
With the backing soda in hand, waiting to be used to rinse off the peel with warm water too, I will be using the 75% Isopropyl Alcohol to prep my feet after a nice bath.
Alcohol first, peel next, rinse follows. In that order.
I would be moisturising with O’Keeffe’s healthy feet (a rich non greasy foot cream that helps relieve dry chapped skin on the ball of the feet and brings about very healthy, lush and sweet looking skin after consistent use).
On other days, I will be using exfoliants like Alpha skin’s 12% AHA and Amlactin’s foot repair with contains Lactic Acid.
All these are less abrasive and mild Chemical skin peel for the skin/ feet. Do this with consistent mani/ pedi and your skin will thank you.
Please feel free to ask questions. Have you ever done a Chemical skin peel?
Back soon xx