Post-acne hyperpigmentation index (PAHPI)

Acne Vulgaris
Acne vulgaris (Photo credit: Adams999)
Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH) after successful acne treatment used to get ignored as a first world cosmetic concern till recently. But with the burgeoning cosmetic dermatology industry, acne treatment remains incomplete till PIH is taken care of. Though many effective and not so effective treatments arrive every now and then on the scene, with enticing theories about slaying melanocytes, there is no validated scale for quantitative research on PIH.
Researchers from University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center have validated a post-acne hyperpigmentation index (PAHPI)(1), (much to the chagrin of fairness cream tycoons). The paper (soon to appear in JAAD) is an excellent example of effectively combining qualitative and quantitative methods. The index was developed after focus group interviews and was rigorously tested for inter and intra rater reliability. The validity was tested for 3 independent outcome measures:  global severity ratings, pigmentation, and quality of life.
The simple index that takes into account size, intensity, and number of lesions showed substantial reliability and validity. This may be an excellent tool for PG thesis research on acne and PIH management.
The authors were able to recruit 21 patient from the community with fliers and radio advertisement. Wonder how many PIH patients visit a dermatologist daily in the Indian subcontinent!
1. “Reliability assessment and validation of the postacne …” 2013. 4 Nov. 2013 peel rating
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Reliability assessment and validation of the postacne hyperpigmentation index (PAHPI)
Reviewed by Bell Eapen on .
Reliability assessment and validation of the postacne hyperpigmentation index (PAHPI), a new instrument to measure postinflammatory hyperpigmentation from acne vulgarisPeelScore rating: 4

Bell Eapen
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About Bell Eapen 247 Articles
Techie Dermatologist, Information Systems PhD, Supporter of Open-Source Software, Machine Learning and AI geek, loves cricket, Canadian wine and beer. [Resume]


  1. This looks like an excellent index … shall look forward to reading the full-text once its online … how about validating this in the Indian context?

  2. As old PIH is treated, fresh acne can continue to appear and leave new PIH spots. Which is why the patient and the physician often feels “1 step forward, 1 step backward”. Unless photography is also included, I don’t know how rating alone can give the correct score. Will look fwd to the full text article.

  3. Hi there to every , as I am actually keen of reading this website’s post to be updated regularly.
    It includes good data.

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