Stain Treatment By Laser
Port-wine stains (nevus flammeus) are red or purple birthmarks that appear in about 3 in 1000 of children. These birthmarks are caused by an over-abundance of blood vessels in the skin. Most occur on the face, neck and scalp but any area can be affected. Coloring can range from pale pink to dark purple. Port-wine stains vary in size and may become larger and darker as the person grows older. Port-wine stains never go away on their own. As a child grows, the area involved tends to increase proportionally; progression of the malformation can occur and develop into a cosmetic disfigurement. With further aging, the color deepens, nodular and papular type hemangiomas develop, causing irregularity of the skin texture and increased disfigurement.
Laser treatments are very successful with all types of birthmark removal. Through laser treatment, port-wine stains can be significantly lightened. Lasers have made the biggest impact on treatment, because they are the sole method of destroying the cutaneous capillaries without significant damage to the overlying skin.
Who Are Good Candidates for Laser Stain Treatment?
Children, teenagers, women and men of various ages who desire port-wine stain laser treatment could be good candidates. During your consultation – we will do a thorough evaluation of your condition and will tailor a treatment plan to address your specific needs.
How Is Laser Stain Treatment Procedure Performed?
Laser treatment is often started in infancy when the blood vessels and stain and smaller so the birthmark is easier to treat. The earlier treatment is started, the easier the stain is to treat. An anesthetic is used in the form of an injection, spray or topical ointment to numb the treatment area and ensure comfort. Laser therapy is not painful but it can be uncomfortable. A little bruising and swelling, after treatment, is to be expected and normal, but this resolves on its own within just a few days.
How Long Do Laser Stain Treatment Results Last?
Although multiple treatments may be required, once complete, the results are permanent.
What Are the Side Effects of Laser Stain Treatment?
Laser treatment is the most advanced, most effective treatment today – with the least risk or scarring. The treatment is so safe, compared with other lasers, that it is the treatment of choice even on babies and children with this problem.
The main side effect is a short lived bruising of the skin, which will be noticeable as round purple spots that will last for a week or two before fading away. Small areas may blister or ‘crust’ but these will usually settle down within a day or two.
Long term side-effects are very rare like a transient increase in skin pigmentation that can last for weeks, or even months after treatment. Other very low risks, affecting less than 1% of patients include scarring and hypo-pigmentation.