3 Things You Need To Know About Poikiloderma Of Civatte

Posted on: 3 March 2016

Poikiloderma of Civatte is a skin condition that affects middle-aged or senior women. It's characterized by dark patches on the neck. Here are three things you need to know about Poikiloderma of Civatte.

What are the signs of Poikiloderma of Civatte?

If you develop Poikiloderma of Civatte, you'll notice red or brown patches on the sides and front of your neck. In some cases, the sides of the face and the chin can also be affected. These patches develop gradually and tend to be symmetrically distributed. Atrophy of the skin, meaning that your skin gets thinner and looks aged, can also occur with this condition.

Telangiecstasias—also called spider veins—may also be present in the area. Telangiecstasias are dilated blood vessels that show through your skin and look like spiders. This can lead to serious cosmetic concerns.

In addition to these visible symptoms, you may notice changes in your skin sensation. Almost half of people with this condition say that their patches have an itchy or burning sensation. You may also feel a warm, flushed sensation in the affected area.

Why does it develop?

The cause of Poikiloderma of Civatte is still somewhat mysterious, though researchers have identified many factors that may play a role in its development. Here are some of the factors that have been identified:

  • Chronic sun exposure;

  • Allergic reactions to substances like perfumes and cosmetics;

  • Hormonal changes associated with menopause, particularly estrogen depletion;

  • Photoallergic reactions, which are allergic reactions that occur when allergens are activated by sunlight;

  • Genetic predisposition or a family history of the condition.

Can it be treated?

Poikiloderma of Civatte can be treated with intense pulsed light therapy. Intense pulse light machines are similar to lasers, but they create a different type of light. Your dermatologist will direct this light at your hyperpigmented skin over the course of several treatments.

Intense pulsed light therapy works by encouraging your melanin to spread evenly throughout the treated area of skin. Darker patches of skin have more melanin, so encouraging this melanin to spread out will lighten these patches and help to camouflage them. This light also helps to increase your skin's collagen density and increase its elastic fibers, which can help to counteract the appearance of atrophy.

In addition to this treatment, your dermatologist will remind you of the importance of staying out of the sun and wearing sunscreen, since the sun is believed to contribute to this condition's development.

If you think you have Poikiloderma of Civatte, contact Advanced Dermatology Care or a similar location.