Cutis Laxa (Elastolysis) Treatment & Management

  • Author: Daniel J Hogan, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
Updated: Sep 18, 2014

Medical Care

No treatment exists to prevent disease progression, although dapsone can be used acutely to control swelling in persons with acquired cutis laxa (elastolysis), consistent with the suspected role of neutrophil elastase. Penicillamine and doxycycline are ineffective.

Cutis Laxa Internationale is an international support group for patients with cutis laxa (elastolysis).


Surgical Care

Surgical correction of redundant skin folds, prolapses, or hernias may be undertaken. However, surgery often produces only temporary benefit.

Botulinum toxin injections are being considered for improving the aged appearance and facial defects seen in persons with cutis laxa (elastolysis).[25]



Consult a dermatologist for evaluation of the underlying cause of cutis laxa (elastolysis).

Consult an internal medicine specialist for evaluation of the underlying cause of cutis laxa (elastolysis) and internal organ involvement.

Cutis laxa (elastolysis) increases the risk for aortic aneurysm; therefore, regular cardiac monitoring is recommended to avert a potentially fatal aortic rupture.

Affected individuals may require a consultation with a pulmonologist.

Consultation with a geneticist is suggested, particularly for patients presenting in childhood.

Contributor Information and Disclosures

Daniel J Hogan, MD Clinical Professor of Internal Medicine (Dermatology), Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine; Investigator, Hill Top Research, Florida Research Center

Daniel J Hogan, MD is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha, American Academy of Dermatology, American Contact Dermatitis Society, Canadian Dermatology Association

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

Richard P Vinson, MD Assistant Clinical Professor, Department of Dermatology, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Paul L Foster School of Medicine; Consulting Staff, Mountain View Dermatology, PA

Richard P Vinson, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, Texas Medical Association, Association of Military Dermatologists, Texas Dermatological Society

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Van Perry, MD Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Dermatology, University of Texas School of Medicine at San Antonio

Van Perry, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Chief Editor

Dirk M Elston, MD Professor and Chairman, Department of Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery, Medical University of South Carolina College of Medicine

Dirk M Elston, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Additional Contributors

Susan M Swetter, MD Director, Pigmented Lesion and Melanoma Program, Professor, Department of Dermatology, Stanford University Medical Center and Cancer Institute, Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System

Susan M Swetter, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, Women's Dermatologic Society, American Society of Clinical Oncology, Society for Melanoma Research, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group, American Medical Association, Pacific Dermatologic Association, Society for Investigative Dermatology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.


Tina Molis, MD, PhD Staff Physician, Department of Radiology, St Francis Medical Center, University of Illinois at Peoria

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

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Prominent skin laxity and wrinkling on the back.
Marked diminution of elastic fibers in the lower dermis (Verhoeff-van Gieson stain). Courtesy of Dr F. Abreo.
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