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Poikiloderma of Civatte
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Poikiloderma of Civatte

Contributors: Fandi Xia MD, Susan Burgin MD
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed


Poikiloderma of Civatte is a chronic, benign skin condition caused by long-term sun exposure in adults with lighter skin phototypes. It affects women more frequently than men and typically appears in and after the fifth decade of life. It presents as mottled erythema involving the lateral neck and the superior medial chest. Telangiectasias, hyper- and/or hypopigmentation, and superficial (epidermal or superficial dermal) atrophy may also be seen.

Poikiloderma of Civatte develops slowly over months to years. As many as half of all patients may complain of mild itching, burning, or flushing in affected areas. Contact sensitization to chemicals present in fragrances and cosmetics has been proposed as a cofactor in the development of this disorder.


L57.3 – Poikiloderma of Civatte

45265000 – Poikiloderma of Civatte

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Last Reviewed:10/27/2020
Last Updated:11/02/2020
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Patient Information for Poikiloderma of Civatte
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Contributors: Medical staff writer


Poikiloderma of Civatte is a chronic, non-cancerous (benign) skin condition in adults with light skin, which is probably caused by long-term sun exposure. Poikiloderma of Civatte shows a specific pattern of color change in the skin due to sun damage to the neck and sometimes the center of the chest.

Who’s At Risk

Poikiloderma of Civatte is a cosmetic problem typically affecting women more frequently than men.

This condition is more common with increased age.

Signs & Symptoms

Poikiloderma of Civatte usually affects the front and sides of the neck. The center of the chest is also sometimes affected. You will notice darkened skin color (hyperpigmentation) and lightened skin color (hypopigmentation) as well as redness (erythema). Fine blood vessels in the skin are often seen.

Self-Care Guidelines

Use sunscreens, wear sun-protective clothing, and avoid peak sun hours (between 10 AM and 3 PM) to help prevent this condition from occurring or worsening.

When to Seek Medical Care

Poikiloderma of Civatte is primarily a cosmetic condition that does not require treatment, but see your doctor if you become concerned about its appearance.


  • There are no oral or topical medications that can improve poikiloderma of Civatte, but your doctor will encourage you to use sun-protective measures as noted above to prevent it from getting worse.
  • Some types of laser therapy may improve the appearance of this condition.


Bolognia, Jean L., ed. Dermatology, pp.1381. New York: Mosby, 2003.

Freedberg, Irwin M., ed. Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine. 6th ed. pp.2502. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2003.
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Poikiloderma of Civatte
A medical illustration showing key findings of Poikiloderma of Civatte : Erythema, Lateral neck, Superior chest, Telangiectasia
Clinical image of Poikiloderma of Civatte - imageId=278658. Click to open in gallery.  caption: 'Telangiectasias and some hyper- and hypopigmentation on the lateral neck.'
Telangiectasias and some hyper- and hypopigmentation on the lateral neck.
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