Post-inflammatory erythema is a relatively new term coined in dermatology. It describes the leftover red spots from inflammatory acne or other inflammatory skin conditions. It is caused by blood pooling underneath the surface of the skin. The redness from the inflammation forms a red spot on the surface of the skin. This can take a very long time to go away without additional treatments.
There have been numerous research studies on the efficacy of silicone sheets to improve scarring on the surface of the skin. Based on these studies, it suggests that using a silicone sheet can improve post-inflammatory erythema as well. This is done by increasing hydration and continuously improving the skin barrier.
Silicone Sheets For Post-Inflammatory Erythema
As mentioned above, post-inflammatory erythema is the result of an inflammatory reaction in the skin. They are red spots that are flat and do not contain any texture in the skin.
Often, over-the-counter active treatments such as acids and retinol will not improve the look of post-inflammatory erythema. The reason for this is because these increase the cell turnover rate, but often have side effects of more redness, irritation, and flaking.
These can actually make your post inflammatory erythema worse.
However, it is important to note that active ingredients can prevent inflammatory acne from occurring in the first place, which in turn prevents post-inflammatory erythema from occurring later on.
The most important treatment for a post-inflammatory erythema (PIE) that you can do at home involves giving your skin the moisture and hydration that it needs to repair the skin barrier.
Pulsed Dye Laser
There is a treatment available that a licensed medical practitioner can perform that has been shown to improve PIE.
This is known as a pulsed dye laser. Pulsed dye laser successfully treats PIE. It uses light to specifically target the capillaries underneath the skin that are causing the red spots.
This light gets converted to heat and is able to actually obliterate these capillaries and reduce redness and inflammation.
It can stimulate the remodeling of the dermis. It is also been used to treat rosacea as well as other inflammatory skin conditions that can cause epidermal damage.
These all play a role in repairing the skin barrier and can restructure the dermis to prevent further inflammation and irritation in the skin.
At home treatment that can be used to improve PIE involves the use of silicone sheeting. Silicone sheets are made up of very thin sheets of silicone.
These can be drenched with a skincare serum or can be used alone to provide an occlusive effect over the top of the skin. Silicone sheeting can provide a multitude of benefits to the skin when used properly.
Benefits of Silicone Sheets For Post-Inflammatory Erythema
When applied to the top of the skin, silicone sheets can create a protective barrier to the stratum corneum.
By doing this, the silicone sheets can increase hydration and maintain the skin barrier by retaining moisture in the skin.
It has also been shown to increase the production of fibroblasts. Fibroblasts are important cells in connective tissue. Any damage to the skin barrier increases production of fibroblasts to repair it.
Using silicone sheeting can also prevent inflammation by covering the area and reducing its exposure to environmental stressors.
Since PIE can be greatly exacerbated by external stressors, covering the area with silicone sheeting can prevent this from occurring.
It also reduces itching in the skin. This will help prevent irritation and inflammation.
Since silicone sheeting can act as an occlusive to hold in moisture, it can actually replicate the skin’s natural barrier and hold onto hydration and retain moisture.
Since it retains water levels in the skin, it can reduce inflammation by preventing transepidermal water loss.
In addition, the use of silicone sheeting over facial redness is a non-invasive treatment and it is easy to apply.
By reducing transepidermal water loss, it reduces redness in the skin as it softens the skin cells and increases hydration.
It also regulates collagen production to prevent scarring and textural abnormalities in the skin.
Studies have shown that applying a silicone sheet to the skin can also reduce the blood supply to the area. It does this by acting as a protective barrier and encouraging the skin not to increase blood flow to that area. This will reduce redness and in turn, fade PIE.
How To Use Silicone Sheeting
You can find silicone sheets online or over-the-counter. They are relatively affordable and easy to use.
In order to use silicone sheeting effectively, it is best to use skin care products that are carefully curated to your skin needs.
You want to make sure that the products work well for your skin since the sheet will create an occlusive barrier and lock these products onto the surface of your skin.
Preferably at nighttime and after your skincare routine, you can add these silicone sheets to certain areas of the skin that are suffering from PIE.
You can leave these sheets overnight or for a few hours to experience its benefits.
How Long Will It Take For Post-Inflammatory Erythema Take To Fade With Silicone Sheeting?
The amount of time it will take for your PIE to fade depends on the treatments that you are using in addition to silicone sheeting.
When you do not treat PIE, it can take years to go away.
If you incorporate moisturizing ingredients that repair the skin barrier, and also use silicone sheeting, you can expect your PIE to go away in as little as 3 to 5 months.
This requires consistent use of nourishing skincare products and ditching products that will cause more inflammation and irritation in the skin. In addition to silicone sheeting, you want to make sure that you are using hydrators and emollients.
Hyaluronic acid will help to retain water while emollients like glycerin or petrolatum will soften skin cells.
Silicone sheeting will act as an occlusive at the end of your routine to lock in moisture and fade PIE.