Birthmarks

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There are many different types of birthmarks, which one you have will determine what type of treatment you need.

Red & Blue Birthmarks

Port wine stains, spider naevi, venous malformations and cherry angiomata are all skin lesions that have a larger number and/or size of blood vessels.

The pulsed dye laser selectively targets specific blood vessels. These blood vessels are coagulated or “damaged” and then reabsorbed by the body during the natural healing process. The sensation is both hot and cold at the same time due to a cold spray that immediately precedes the laser. The intensity varies with the sensitivity of the site and the individual.

The area will look blushed around the edges and slightly grey-tinged or intensely bruised after treatment. Occasionally some people have a mild crusting on the skin which usually flakes off in a few days. Redness and swelling in the treated area will usually last a few days to a week depending on the size and location of the birthmark. Further treatments can be performed six weeks after the original treatment. Lower body port wine stains respond less than those on the upper body.

Some birthmarks may require the application of a topical anaesthetic cream to be applied prior to treatment.

Venous malformations are treated using light and radiofrequency. Blue blebs on lips (venous lakes) and other malformations may respond well to one or more sessions, depending on their size. Occasionally, a popping noise is heard during treatment.

Brown Birthmarks

Melanin gives skin its colour, so pigmented lesions that are darker in colour have larger amounts of melanin concentrated in one area of the skin. This high concentration of melanin can be due to various factors, some are present at birth, but most occur with age or as a result of overexposure to sunlight.

The PicoWay® laser can be used to remove birthmarks, as the laser light is absorbed by the pigment, which may then lighten or remove the unwanted pigment. Depending on the size of this birthmark and its location, it may require a number of treatments at six weekly intervals to achieve complete resolution. Some marks may not be totally removable, but may be able to be faded.

Some birthmarks may require the application of a topical anaesthetic cream to be applied prior to treatment.

There may be some scaling or scabbing of the skin usually settling within a week or so.