Post-inflammatory erythema (PIE)

Post-inflammatory erythema (PIE) is a skin condition characterized by persistent redness at the site of healed or resolving inflammatory acne lesions or other skin injuries. Unlike post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), which involves darkening of the skin, PIE is associated with red or pink discoloration. It occurs due to the dilation of small blood vessels (capillaries) near the skin’s surface, leading to increased blood flow and redness.


1. Inflammatory Skin Conditions:

PIE often follows inflammatory skin conditions, such as acne, rosacea, or eczema. The redness is a result of the inflammatory response triggered by these conditions.

2. Skin Trauma:

Physical trauma to the skin, including cuts, burns, or excessive sun exposure, can also lead to post-inflammatory erythema.


1. Red or Pink Discoloration:

The hallmark of PIE is the presence of red or pink spots on the skin. These spots may vary in size and intensity.

2. Persistence:

Unlike some other types of redness that may fade quickly, post-inflammatory erythema can persist for an extended period, sometimes for several months.

Treatment and Management:

1. Sun Protection:

Sun exposure can exacerbate post-inflammatory erythema. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF to protect your skin from UV rays.

2. Topical Treatments:

Certain topical treatments, such as azelaic acid or niacinamide, may help reduce redness and promote skin healing. Consult with a dermatologist to determine the most suitable options for your skin.

3. Vascular Laser Therapy:

In some cases, dermatologists may recommend vascular laser therapy to target the blood vessels causing the redness. This treatment can help reduce the appearance of post-inflammatory erythema.

4. Camouflage Makeup:

Using makeup with a green tint can help neutralize redness. Additionally, makeup can provide temporary coverage while the redness resolves.

Patience is Key

Post-inflammatory erythema often improves over time, and patience is crucial. It’s essential to avoid picking or squeezing acne lesions, as this can worsen inflammation and increase the risk of developing post-inflammatory erythema.

If you are concerned about post-inflammatory erythema or any persistent skin condition, it’s advisable to consult with a dermatologist. They can provide a personalized assessment and recommend appropriate treatments to address your specific needs.

Product to avoid

1. Fragrance:

Fragrances, whether synthetic or natural, can be a common irritant. Opt for fragrance-free or hypoallergenic products, especially if you have sensitive skin or are prone to allergies.

2. Alcohol

High concentrations of alcohol in skincare products can be drying and irritating. Look for alcohol-free alternatives, especially if you have dry or sensitive skin.

3. Sulfates:

Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) are common surfactants found in cleansers and shampoos. They can be harsh on the skin and strip away natural oils. Consider sulfate-free alternatives.

4. Parabens:

Parabens are preservatives used in many skincare products. Some people may be sensitive to them, and there have been concerns about their potential impact on health. Paraben-free products are available as alternatives.

7. Physical Exfoliants with Harsh Particles:

Some physical exfoliants contain abrasive particles like walnut shells that can cause microtears in the skin, leading to irritation. Consider gentler exfoliation options, such as products with finely milled particles or chemical exfoliants.


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