Many people have a birthmark somewhere on their body…just how large or noticeable it is can determine just how comfortable they are with this individual and sometimes annoying phenomenon. Some people feel very self conscious of their birthmarks and strive to hide or cover them; others don’t worry about their marks and accept them for what they are.
Birthmarks are nothing more remarkable than a quirk of the melanin or the blood vessels within your skin…they’re caused by a concentration of pigment within a particular area or by an unusual grouping of blood vessels and can appear almost anywhere on the body.
If you are unhappy with your birthmark then the good news is that most birthmarks can be treated and within a few short sessions, can disappear almost completely and today’s laser techniques are so advanced that many birthmarks can be removed or at least considerably diminished relatively simply. To learn a little about the various types of birthmark, read on.
These are generally reddish in colour and are sometimes referred to as “port wine stains”. They’re caused by an unusual formation of blood vessels and can appear anywhere on the body. This is a very common type of birthmark and they can be treated with laser therapy. A number of sessions may be necessary to ensure the most effective fading.
These are a pale pinkish colour and most often appear on the eyelids and the neck. In many cases the marks fade away as the child grows but those on the neck may be more stubborn and require laser therapy.
These are brown and can be hairy…where hair is present they are known as “Hairy Nevus” and they can be removed with laser therapy. Caused by a concentration of pigment in one area it is advised that they are kept under observation in case of changes which could point to melanoma. It is also advised that removal is wise where possible and laser therapy can successfully treat this type of birthmark.
Sometimes called “stork bites” these are raised, red birthmarks which are caused by the rapid growth of blood vessels. Many of this type disappear or fade by the time a child is around 3 years of age. They can be removed with laser therapy.
How does laser therapy remove birthmarks?
Laser light is attracted to pigmentation…it can be very precisely focused so that the surrounding skin and tissue is not affected and as the light hits the darker areas of skin, it breaks up the melanin and the skin is gradually lightened. Darker or larger birthmarks may take more sessions to successfully remove than smaller paler marks.
The treatment is not painful; some people liken the sensation to a tingling, prickling or pinging feeling and as it is non-invasive there is no need to take time off work or school once a treatment is complete.
Before treatment commences, you will have a consultation with a practitioner who will examine your birthmark and together you will make a treatment plan to ensure the most successful removal of your birthmark.