Poikiloderma is a fancy sounding term that refers to discoloration to the neck and chest area related to sun damage. This skin condition is not uncommon in sunny Southern California and affects men and women alike.
Most of us have been taught to protect our faces from UV exposure; however, we often forget that the neck and chest areas require the same diligent protection (hands, arms, etc). It isn’t until we reach our thirties or forties that we start to become aware of the textural and pigmented changes to these areas.
Celibre Medical Los Angeles laser treatments for sun damage and poikiloderma, www.celibre.com/poik.aspx.
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What does poikiloderma look like?
Poikiloderm photo (courtsey of eMedicine). Poikiloderma treatment Los Angeles.
Sun damage to the neck area usually occurs on the sides of the neck. The color changes from poikiloderma may look brown, red, or a combination of both. For the chest area, it is usually a mixture of red and brown. The reddish discoloration is related to superficial vascularity (blood vessels) that develop in response to sun damage. If you notice that these areas blanche (the skin whitens when you push on it) very easily even without recent sun exposure, then your situation more than likely involves poikiloderma. The brown discoloration may appear splotchy and can occur despite diligent sun protection and avoidance. It is not uncommon to also have changes in the texture of the skin. Women will often complain of a “leathery” look and feel that does not respond to moisturizing or exfoliants.
What does Celibre Medical do for poikiloderma treatment?
Poikiloderma may be safely treated with a combination of lasers that involve no downtime. Class IV medical lasers can improve or resolve this condition. Of course, diligent sunscreen and sun avoidance helps maintain results and prevent further damage. When applying your sunscreen, don’t forget the neck and chest!
Lori Haney, RN, MEP-C
Certified Medical Laser Safety Officer