Badly Bitten

About a year ago, I traveled to Cairns, Australia for a holiday. I had an amazing time. The beaches were beautiful, the Great Barrier Reef was jaw-dropping and the weather comparable to Malaysian beaches, except not as hot. While my travels were fabulous, I was ill-fated to have been bitten by sand flies. Sand flies are nasty and after they devoured my blood, the bites left an ugly mark. I now have a huge sand fly scar on my hand which has now turned brown. How can I get rid of it? Lee, Taman Petaling

Dato' Dr Ko Chung Beng - November 11, 11:00 AM

What you are experiencing is discolouration that occurs after bites with post inflammatory change causing hyperpigmentation, which is also known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation – PIH. This is a common occurrence after your skin recovers from an injury such as bites. Depending on the underlying cause, the pigment may be deposited in different layers of skin, either the epidermis (superficial layer) or dermis (deeper layer). Treatment options include topical treatments with medications containing hydroquinone, retinoid or steroids, and lasers which include Q-switched or dual yellow light. However, all of these treatments will need time to take effect and a combination of treatments is recommended.

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