Poikiloderma describes a pattern of skin changes secondary to sun damage. It is characterized by areas of both hyperpigmentation (darker pigmented areas of skin) and hypopigmentation (areas of skin with less than normal pigment) that results in a mottled appearance in combination with skin atrophy and telangiectasia (spider vein) formation. This condition is most common in middle aged to elderly men and women with fair skin, but others may be affected as well.
The skin changes associated with this condition are benign but are an indication of chronic sun damage which increases risk for skin cancer, but poikiloderma itself requires no treatment. It can become cosmetically concerning, however, and responds very well to laser treatment. The pigment changes may be treated with an intense pulsed light (IPL) device, and the redness and telangiectasias can be reduced with pulse-dye lasers. Consult your dermatologist if you think you have poikiloderma of civatte to find which treatment options are best for you.