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.
Oftentimes, birthmarks can be present in visible areas of the body that could cause one to be conscious every time they are in public and may effect their self-esteem. If the size of the birthmarks are especially large and in a visible part of the body, people tend to opt for birthmark removal through laser treatment. Most of these cases include people with facial birthmarks.
Certain types of birthmarks are known to respond to particular treatments better. The type of laser treatment is determined in consultation depending on the type of birthmark.
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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.
Laser equipment used to treat skin conditions are designed to target pigmentation in the skin, ensuring that the surrounding areas are not disrupted in the process.
When the laser treatment is administered, the skin is also provided adequate protection with the use chilled air that is attached to the equipment. The various laser wavelengths help treat various types of birthmarks effectively .
While there may be certain side-effects to the laser treatment, it is essentially safe to carry out.
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.