Sun Exposure and Neck Redness

Care Has to be Taken When Treating Light Skin
Poikiloderma of Civatte


A common complaint with an uncommon name is sun-induced redness on the sides of the neck, called ‘Poikiloderma of Civatte’ (POC). This redness on the side of the neck results from long-term sun-exposure. The area under the chin is spared, because the chin blocks the sun in this central area. For people who drive a car a reasonable amount, the redness is greater on the left side (assuming they do not live in England where people drive on the right side of the car). Passengers would be redder on the right. Once the redness appears, it stays and continues to get worse. Since the blood vessels here are leaky, there is often some inflammation which results in some brown pigment mixing with the red veins. This pigmentation is a combination of brown skin pigment and the pigment from dead red blood cells (hemosiderin). I often treat this POC with a combination of topical and laser treatments. POC requires a certain degree of skill to treat with a laser, since using the wrong laser can leave the outline of the laser spot in the treated area (footprinting), and because skin on the neck is more sensitive to laser treatments than facial skin. Sunscreen worn on the face and neck EVERY DAY, and UVA-blocking clear llumar window film on one’s care are crucial to maintaining improvement during and after laser and topical treatment of POC.


Poikiloderma of Civatte (POC), redness on the side of the neck caused by the sun.  Care has to be taken in light skinned individuals to avoid over-treatment resulting in visible laser ‘spots’.
Classic appearance on the sides of the neck. Usually the drivers’ side in drivers, or the passengers’ side in passengers is the reddest, indicating that contrary to popular belief, most sun-exposure occurs not at the beach but in the car for most of us.


To answer your specific questions or schedule a consultation, call Dr. Bernstein today at 610-645-5551.

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