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Skin Deep is a blog for dermatologists and skin care professionals with focus on theoretical, cosmetic and aesthetic dermatology. This blog is associated with ‘Dermatologists Sans Borders’ one of the largest curated groups of skin care professionals on facebook. If you are looking for non-technical information, please visit

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 vulgaris

PeelScore rating: 4

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About Me

As a Dermatologist and Informatician my research mainly involves application of bioinformatics techniques and tools in dermatological conditions. However my research interests are varied and I have publications in areas ranging from artificial intelligence, sequence analysis, systems biology, ontology development, microarray analysis, immunology, computational biology and clinical dermatology. I am also interested in eHealth, Health Informatics and Health Policy.


Bell Raj Eapen
Hamilton, ON