Redness & Flushing

Diffuse facial redness appears for several reasons: acne scarring, rosacea, sun damage, other types of scars and genetics. The redness can be present all the time, or may become more noticeable with certain trigger factors such as heat, wind, exercise or wine consumption. 

An increased number of very superficial blood vessels, combined with sensitive skin or skin that easily flushes, leads to increased red appearance of the skin. Chronic active or low-grade inflammation in the skin also makes the skin more red and sensitive. The persistent redness that can occur on the vee of the chest and the lateral neck, especially in women, is called Poikiloderma of Civatte. This is a most troublesome cosmetic problem for many women.

If you are troubled by facial redness, redness on the neck and/or chest or any other form of redness, we will first meet with you and discuss medical treatment of any underlying skin diseases, including acne and rosacea. We will recommend skincare products to reduce the appearance of redness and to treat sensitive skin. Unfortunately, there are very few topical treatments that make a considerable impact, so we usually recommend topical anti-redness agents in conjunction with laser and light treatments to optimise redness reduction. We offer Candela VBeam Perfecta, Cutera Excel V, Genesis V, Gemini KTP and BBL, which are the most advanced treatments to improve the appearance of skin redness and allow us to customise treatments for the most effective and convenient experience for our patients. Some of the lasers can be combined at the same treatment session.

Port Wine Stains

Port wine stain birthmarks (flat patches of purple or dark, red skin) are vascular birth marks which often appear in infancy or early childhood and can be disfiguring. The most effective laser treatment for port wine stain removal is a pulse dye laser, and we use the state-of-the art model Candela VBeam Perfecta and, if required, the Cutera Excel V.

Red spots on the face and body

Red spots on the face and body are known as angiomas. They commonly occur on the body and are benign growths. They are harmless medically but do bother some people cosmetically. They are effectively removed with either the Candela VBeam Perfecta, the Cutera Excel V, the Genesis V, the Gemini KTP/Yag laser, or the Sciton BBL light device.

Veins around the nose

Otherwise known as Perinasal Telangiectatic Vessels, veins around the nose are very common. They can be due to genetics, rosacea or even frequent nose blowing. The key to treatment is the choice of laser. These vessels can be difficult to treat and they have a high rate of recurrence with many laser devices. We achieve excellent results with our latest Candela VBeam Perfecta and the Cutera Excel V lasers. The Gemini Nd:Yag laser can also be used, but can possibly cause pitted scars if used too aggressively, or hypopigmented steaks. We caution people that they may need periodic maintenance treatment for these vessels, as large deeper vessels tend to re-open eventually.

Red neck and chest

If you have a constantly red neck and chest you may have Poikiloderma of Civatte (POC).  This condition causes a “crepe-like” skin appearance and a characteristic red/brown discoloration that looks like a permanent sunburn or tan involving the neck and the vee of the chest (décolletage in women). The area under the chin is usually unaffected. The condition is more commonly seen in women and in places where there is high ultraviolet light exposure.The cause of Poikiloderma of Civatte is unknown. Factors which are thought to play a part in the development of the condition include fair skin, ultraviolet light exposure, hormonal factors and some components of cosmetics and toiletries.

It generally presents as skin thinning (atrophy), redness from enlarged blood vessels (erythema) and colour (pigmentary) changes are seen in sun-exposed skin. It most commonly affects the sides of the neck. The area under the neck remains characteristically unaffected. Poikiloderma of Civatte may also affect other areas on the face. The diagnosis is made by clinical assessment, and no tests are necessary. 

Treatment of Poikiloderma of Civatte can be difficult and results will largely depend on the dermatology laser centre at which you present for treatment as to whether they have the appropriate laser specific to your needs. Dermatologists will frequently use a combination of treatments to achieve the best results. Following treatment, the skin will need to be vigilantly protected from sun exposure to decrease the risk of Poikiloderma of Civatte recurring. Maintenance laser treatments may be used intermittently if the condition recurs.

Treating Poikiloderma of Civatte

General Measures

  • The use of perfumes and cosmetics should be limited.
  • Where practical, scarves or other clothing should be worn to cover the neck.
  • Broad-spectrum sunscreens (with SPF 50+ or greater) covering both the UVA and UVB spectrum should be applied twice daily and re-applied regularly.


  • Lightening creams may be used to treat the brown (pigmented) areas of the skin. Bleaching creams such as Hydroquinone and Vitamin-A based creams can be used. Alpha-hydroxy acids can also reduce brown pigmentation.
  • Creams and lasers are often used in combination to treat this condition. The aim is initially to treat the redness first and then target the pigmented areas.

Laser & Light Therapies

  • The Excel V laser includes the parameters for a patented procedure known as Laser Genesis. This microsecond 1064nm treatment is an excellent choice for POC. This unique procedure targets the microvascularity with microsecond, high peak power pulses, reducing redness whilst stimulating collagen production. This is our initial treatment of choice.
  • Candela VBeam pulse dye laser (595nm) – usually three to six treatments are required for the best results. Each treatment may produce temporary light bruising. Skin may initially turn pale and sometimes a “checkerboard” or spotty appearance may be seen. However, these symptoms resolve when treatment is completed.
  • Broadband light treatment (BBL) targets both blood vessels and melanin (pigment), treating both redness and brown discoloration. Treatments are spaced 4 – 6 weeks apart, but multiple sessions of treatment are required to improve the appearance.
  • Fractional non-ablative lasers (Fraxel Restore Dual 1927nm) – two to four treatments are required for the best possible outcome and are usually only used when the treatments mentioned above are ineffective.

What’s the next step?

If you already have an appointment booked at The Skin Specialist Centre, you can easily add this treatment/consultation to your booking by calling our friendly team on (09) 524 5011. If you have never been to The Skin Specialist Centre, you can either give us a call on (09) 524 5011 or make an enquiry by clicking on the Enquire Now option below.

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