Wednesday, February 17, 2016

What is Poikiloderma of Civatte

Poikiloderma of Civatte (poikiloderma for short) is a mottled discoloration of the neck, typically sparing the area under the chin. There is usually a brawny redness to the skin that looks like a stain, and it sort of is. There are also little telangiectasias (“broken” capillaries) found on both sides of the neck.

The discoloration is triggered by chronic sun exposure, which is why it spares skin under the chin. Fair-skinned people are more prone to it, as with most sun damaging conditions, although it can occur on all skin types.
Discoloration is due to:
  1. “Broken” capillaries 
  2. Brown staining of the skin from iron that comes from red blood cells (hemosiderin)
  3. Melanin deposited in the skin, due to sun damage
What about treatment?

1) Sun Protection: For many reasons, we recommend patients use SPF daily, even in shaded areas. Look for products with an SPF of at least 30, broad spectrum coverage, and water resistant. Reapply every 2 hours when exposed to direct sunlight.
2) Pigment-lightening products, such as retinols, Skin Medica's Lytera, and glycolic acid such as Skin Medica's AHA/BHA cleanser and cream. 
3) Antioxidant skin care products. These products employ vitamin C which also can lighten pigment by its own unique mechanism. We recommend Skin Medica's Vitamin C & E complex. 
4) Vascular Laser. At Florida Skin Center, we offer laser treatments that target brown and red discoloration. Discomfort and down time are minimal. Ask one of our providers if this treatment option is right for you.


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