If your neck and chest has started to look like it is freshly sunburned or always tanned and it is the dead of winter chances are you may have poikiloderma. This is a common, chronic condition for fair-skinned people over the age of 35 caused mostly by sun damage. It will not magically go away when the summer is over or after a certain period of time.
Poikiloderma is a form of a benign pigmentation disorders but it also usually includes the dilation of fine blood vessels. Most people will then experience both a brown and red appearance to their skin on their neck and chest. Often the shaded area under the chin remains unaffected as it usually receives much less sun exposure. This would not be true for those in the 1950's - 1980's that spent time with the popular reflective silver shield under your chin to increase the tan on your face and neck! Yikes!
Besides sun damage, other ways to increase your risk or occurance of developing poikiloderma is using photosensitizing medications, cosmetics or perfumes on this area. It appears that hormonal changes during menopause will also accelerate the condition as the loss of estrogen dramatically effects the skin's ability to repair from UV exposure.
For most that develop this condition there will be no specific sensations despite the red appearance. For some it can feel mildly itchy, burning or a general sensitized feeling.
Prevention is always more effective than treatment. Here are the keys to prevention if you are fair skinned:
- use an effective sunscreen and anti-oxidant combination on your neck and chest daily when exposing this area to the sun. This includes winter as well as summer months!
- avoid fragrance on your neck and chest area.
Treatments for this condition are not perfect but we can still acheive some very good results.
- A series of three to five IPL (Intense Pulse Light Treatments) are the best solution. Visit us for a Clinical Skin Care Consultation to learn more and proceed with treatments.
- Skinceuticals Tripeptide R Neck Repair used for one year is also an excellent targeted treatment. We often combine this with the IPL series although retinol (that is contained in this product) can only be used with IPL under very clear guidelines from your Clinical Esthetician.
- GM Collin's Vital C 15 Serum is also very helpful applied every morning before sunscreen to help repair, brighten and reduce redness.
- The neck is a very sensitive area and therefore easily prone to damage such as poikiloderma therefore we recommend checking out this article as well for general neck care.
Before & After two IPL (BBL) Treatments.
If you need help or advice for your neck concerns, reach out - we are happy to help. 902.423.3888