What is Poikiloderma?

Poikiloderma of Civatte, also known as sun aging, is a condition caused by sun exposure.

What causes Poikiloderma?

Although the exact causes of poikiloderma of Civatte are unknown, many contributing factors have been identified. Chronic exposure to ultraviolet light is the primary factor, explaining why sun exposed areas are the most prone to developing these lesions. Photosensitizing chemicals in perfumes and cosmetics have been identified as a possible cause of poikiloderma of Civatte. A genetic predisposition may also exist.

What does Poikiloderma look like?

Lesions associated with poikiloderma of Civatte are usually asymptomatic, although some patients do report mild burning, itching and increased sensitivity of the affected skin. These chronic reddish-brown discolorations are commonly found on the neck and cheeks.

How is it diagnosed?

Diagnosis is made on clinical findings and several lab tests. A physician may order a simple blood test to exclude connective tissue disease. A biopsy of the lesion in question may also be ordered.

How is it treated?

No specific treatment exists for poikiloderma of Civatte but there are various remedies, such as topical retinoids, hydroquinone, and alpha hydroxyl acids that may help. It is very important to protect the skin from the sun to prevent further damage. Avoid being outside in the direct sunlight from 10am-3pm. A daily moisturizer with an SPF of 15 or higher is recommended for daily use.

WE also offer Intense pulse light (IPL) systems, which have been found beneficial in the treatment of poikiloderma of Civatte. IPL is a high intensity light source effective in reducing pigmentation changes.

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