are splotches on the skin
that vary in size, shape and color.
They can appear anywhere on the
skin, from an inconspicuous place
to a location that is more prominent,
such as on the face. In some cases,
birthmarks can become a health risk,
especially on the face or eyelids
as they can be a sign of eye or
and/or BIRTHMARK REMOVAL
lesions are present at birth and usually
occur on the face and neck. If untreated,
port-wine birthmarks can deepen in color
and increase in size and depth with age.
They can even become raised, increasing
their susceptibility to abrasion, ulceration,
chronic infections and circulatory problems.
Therefore, port-wine birthmarks are best
treated as early as possible.
birthmarks fade or go away completely on
their own while others do not. There are
four classifications of birthmarks which
can occur, and all vary in property and
are lesions that develop on infants within
a few weeks after birth. Many tiny blood
vessels bunched together that grow quite
rapidly cause this type of birthmark. These
are the most common tumors found in infants
and are usually found around the head and
neck. Sometimes, this type of birthmark
will grow on internal organs that are identified
through discolorations on the skin. Hemangiomas
may disappear within a few months but most
take years to fade or disappear.
patches on the skin are known as macular
stains and are thin, light pink/salmon colored
patches of discoloration. They usually appear
on babies and most commonly on the upper
eyelids or the back of the neck. Patches
that appear on the upper eyelids usually
disappear within the first year, however
patches on the back of the neck most often
do not disappear.
type birthmarks can include various types
of birthmarks including coffee-cream spots,
Mongolian spots and moles. Coffee-cream
spots are caused by too much pigment in
the skin and do not fade away. They are
not severe and do not require treatment
or removal. Mongolian spots are usually
slate blue to gray flat patches and are
commonly found in children. They usually
fade and disappear on their own in the first
five years. Moles usually pose no health
risk; however they can be a sign of melanoma
or skin cancer and may have cancerous effects
later on in life.
malformations are caused by abnormal development
of blood vessels and are most always present
from birth. A very common birthmark is the
port-wine stain, and is a type of vascular
malformation. These can be found anywhere
on the body and usually start out as pink
to red at birth and darken to a deeper red-purple
after a few years. These port-wine stain
birthmarks do not fade or go away. If a
port-wine stain is located on the face or
around the eye area, they may be a concern
as they are associated with eye and brain
can now be removed with the advent of laser
technology. By using a high-energy pulsing
laser, birthmarks can now be easily and
precisely removed. Laser surgery is nearly
painless, and usually requires no anesthetic.
Only a slight tingling sensation is usually
felt while no pain or discomfort appears.
laser treatment is used to lighten the dark
tones of birthmarks, and in the cases of
some lighter toned birthmarks, such as coffee-cream
birthmarks, the tone of the original birthmark
can be evened out completely and disappear.
Port-wine stain birthmarks require more
intensive laser treatment. Several laser
treatments, spaced apart by a period of
several months, are required to lighten
port-wine stain birthmarks.
treatments of birthmarks can take anywhere
from only a few minutes to several hours,
depending on the size, shape and intensity
of the birthmark. Laser birthmark removal
procedures are usually done at an in-office
appointment or in a doctor’s surgical
suite, depending on the intensity of the
treatment required. No hospital, or over
night stay, is required.
is very little healing time after the removal
of a birthmark. In some cases, some bruising
and tenderness may occur at the site of
the birthmark, but usually fades within
risks to laser birthmark removal are minimal.
In some cases, uneven skin tone, excessively
light or dark areas of skin may occur. There
is some risk of ‘patches’ forming,
darker areas surrounded by lighter areas
of treated skin. Most of these cosmetic
risks are corrected by a secondary laser
treatment. In some cases, although quite
rare, some bleeding, scabbing and bruising
removal is done for many reasons, from the
patient’s dislike of their appearance
to facets of more severe medical problems,
like increased risk of glaucoma or seizures
if the birthmark is on, above or near the
eye area. For many patients, it is simply
to increase self-esteem that they view the
birthmark as lowering the quality of their
appearance. By removing the birthmark, or
lightening it, patients exhibit an increase
in self-esteem and self-confidence.
is important to remember that laser treatment
is not always successful at removing a birthmark.
Sometimes the pigmentation of a birthmark
is too deep for a laser to penetrate. It
can result in this darker pigmentation of
a birthmark to again rise to the surface
and have the birthmark darken further or
reappear. In most cases, more laser treatments
can be effectively used to reduce the pigmentation
as the darker pigment rises closer to the
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