Birthmarks are characterised as a blemish on the skin which is present at time of birth or develops shortly thereafter. Occurrence is quite common and the lesions are generally benign however occasionally may signify an underlying problem or disease. Majority of birthmarks are permanent although many resolve as the child grows. Depending on the type of cells involved birthmarks can appear red, brown, white, blue or skin coloured. There are many different varieties of birthmarks including port wine stains, strawberry naevi, congenital melanocytic naevus, Mongolian spots, café au Lait spots and ‘stork bite’(naevus flammeus) marks.
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Birthmarks are generally benign and if they are not self-resolving can cause cosmetic concerns. Depending on the type of birthmark and the cells involved treatment can be performed using a variety of laser technologies such as pigment lasers, Q Switch lasers or vascular lasers to improve the appearance of a birthmark.
Immediately after the laser treatment, red/vascular lesions will appear mildly inflamed. This usually resolves within a few hours to a few days. The treated vessels may have disappeared following treatment or reddened/darkened, and begin to disappear through the following days to weeks depending on their location. Facial vessels tend to resolve faster than vessels on the extremities.
After treatment brown/black coloured lesions appear darker in colour, the spot and area surrounding will feel warm and appear slightly inflamed. The inflammation settles within 2 hours following treatment. The colour of the spot will continue to darken for several days. Crusting of the lesion may occur; this is a normal and expected outcome which will self-resolve and flake off within 7- 14 days. Redness and warmth subsides within a few hours of treatment. Following darkening and flaking of the lesion, it will appear lighter in colour or completely removed.
Generally following 1-3 treatments the birth mark may be completely removed or can appear lighter in colour. The experienced Dermal Clinicians at Melbourne Laser & Aesthetic Centre effectively assess and treat birthmarks with efficient medical grade laser technologies.