What Is BIRTH-MARKS ?
Brown birth marks are usually present at birth and will slowly increase in size in proportion to the individual. Flat brown birth marks can occasionally be treated with good result with the use of our Accolade or YAG laser.
What Types Of Birthmarks Are There?
Macular Stains (salmon patches): These are thin, pink, flat patches of discoloration. These are often found on an infant’s neck and eyelids. If the patch is on the eyelid it may fade greatly or disappear by the first year. The patches on the neck do not however.
Vascular Malformations: - These are caused by an abnormal development of blood vessels when born. Some, called port-wine stains are common and can be found anywhere on the body. Strawberry nevus hemangiomas can undergo a rapid growth phase with an increase to size and volume. The strawberry nevus is a red, raised textured growth on the skin.
Pigmentation-type birthmarks : - These types of birthmarks are caused by either lack of or too much pigment in the skin. Too much pigment in the skin may be a coffee-cream spot. Mongolian spots are flat and bluish- gray patches. They may look a lot like a bruise, and are often found on infants. They fade as a child reaches school age.
The ProcedureThe birthmark removal method depends on the birthmark type, size, and location.
Laser TherapyLasers are used to treat birthmarks or discoloration of the skin that are close to the surface of the skin. During treatment, short bursts of laser light are aimed at the birthmark in order to shrink it, lighten it or cause it to stop growing. Multiple treatments are often necessary to achieve the desired results. The energy of the laser coagulates the blood in the vessels while preserving the overlying skin.
Sclerosing AgentsThese are solutions injected into the birthmark to affect the vessels. This procedure is used in specific cases to irritate the blood vessels and blood cells enough to shrink the mass of the birthmark.
SurgeryThis method is used when other non-evasive procedures have not worked or when the birthmark resides on an internal organ. This procedure requires the use of general anesthesia.
SteroidsCertain anomalies can be decreased by the use of prescription medication.
TREATMENTAbnormal vascular skin lesions, or birthmarks, are treated with a pulsed dye laser which produces a beam of yellow light that passes harmlessly through the translucent layers of the skin and specifically heats the red blood vessels causing the lesion. Because the beam is emitted in short pulses, the heat produced in the blood diffuses without damaging the surrounding tissue. After the heated blood congeals, the vessels atrophy. Thus, the laser removes or dramatically fades the marks with virtually no scarring.
The key to successful treatment is removing the birthmark as early as possible. In infants, the mark is often lighter and less extensive therefore requiring fewer treatments. Typically, 4-6 treatments at intervals of several months are required to remove the birthmark. It is also preferable to treat patients at an early age because the child is spared the psychological trauma and complications of growing up with a birthmark.
Laser Birthmark Removal
Birthmarks 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 brain problems.
Risks In Birthmark RemovalAny surgical removal involves the same risks that of a surgery. The includes infection, scarring and bleeding. If anesthesia is used, anesthetic allergy could also occur.
What Should Be Expected After Undergoing Birthmark Removal?
After undergoing laser therapy, the treated skin becomes dark purple. This should only last about seven to ten days and disappear soon after. However in some cases, it can take six to eight weeks for the purple area to completely disappear.
Following treatment, it is recommended that patients do not scratch the treated area. It is also important to stay out of the sun while healing. When in the sun, patients should use sunscreen. The healing process takes about six weeks after treatment; during that time, the results of the procedure should become more evident. For children that undergo a birthmark removal, parents should make sure they follow the doctor’s post-op instructions.
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