How to get rid of dark scars on my legs after sand fly bites?
Hi I went to Taiwan 2 months ago, and was bitten by lots of sand flies, which became big bumps. I was given skin cream and anti-itch medication by a doctor for the bites. However, I'm now left with dark scars and marks all over my legs. How can I get rid of them?
Sorry to hear about your condition, I really hope you can recover soon. Your question resonates with a lot of readers as I have many patients with the same issue, and most of them have a travel history to Taiwan too! Sand fly bites are notorious for leaving behind persistent itch and brown spots (pigmentation) after the acute bites settle.
It is important to apply the anti-itch medication and do not scratch your spots as that will leave behind more brown marks. Use a ceramide-containing moisturiser to speed up skin healing and be concientious in applying a broad-spectrum sun screen (SPF50) to the affected areas, as excessive sun exposure will lead to darker marks.
The marks will fade with time as your body absorbs the extra pigment. To speed up the process, you may want to consider using topical whitening creams where appropriate. Laser therapy for post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation may be tricky as there have been instances where pigmentation paradoxically darkens after laser treatment. An alternative to consider may be oral antioxidant supplements such as Heliocare Pure white radiance max, I have seen good results from patients.
Do consult an experienced dermatologist for assessment.
Dr Ker Khor Jia
Your dark scars and marks are likely to be post-inflammatory hyper-pigmentation (PIH).
PIH can occur after any skin injury like insect bites, pimples/acne and eczema.
Post-inflammatory hyper pigmentation fades over months (2-4 months).
You should focus on preventing the PIH marks from worsening by applying sun block/moisturiser to keep your skin in good condition.
If you would like to get rid of the dark marks/brown marks due to post-inflammatory hyper pigmentation, there are several treatments for post-inflammatory hyper-pigmentation in Singapore:
1. Medical Skin-care
2. Pigment Lasers - Pico Lasers would be a good option.
Hope that this helps!
Dr Justin Boey
Those marks sound like post inflammatory hyperpigmentation marks. They can fade with time, but the process can be hastened with the use of some medical skincare as well as certain pigmentation lasers. The Qswitched lasers would be a good option usually.
Consult your dermatologist or aesthetic physician for that!