Poikiloderma is the term used to describe a skin condition that is characterised by brown patches of pigmentation (hyperpigmentation) combined with skin redness (erythema) caused by broken blood vessels, known as telangiectasia. It is best described as a mottled appearance, sometimes more red, sometimes more brown and the texture of the skin can also be affected, often feeling more 'papery' and is in fact much weaker than normal skin. It is also known as Poikiloderma of Civatte after the physician who first reported its symptoms.
It is thought that the most common cause is sun damage or prolonged exposure to UV rays, because of the fact its individual symptoms are also side effects of too much sun. Another cause can be strong peeling, normally chemically of the skin, we see this more often due to the popularity of these treatments
Poikiloderma is mainly found on the sides of the face and neck but can also appear on the chest, décolletage and forehead (especially in males with receding hair lines).
Anyone can get Poikiloderma but it is most common in women with fairer skins who have had prolonged sun exposure. This may be because the condition can be affected by hormones and by the use of certain cosmetics, such as perfume, which are photosensitive and are usually applied onto the neck where the condition is most common.