As a type of birthmark resembling a maroon color, a Port Wine Stain can be anywhere on the body, but is mostly apparent on the face, neck, scalp, arms or legs, according to Kids Health. While it begins as a pinkish color at birth, it often becomes darker and more prominent with age, and may change in texture as well. Generally, port wine stains are no big deal, and do not pose a serious health risk. Yet, depending on the location of the birthmark, as well as its color and size, it may cause children to become embarrassed or self-conscious. This is especially true when it is located on the face. Fortunately, lasers and surgical excisions have proved successful in lightening port wine stains and removing them in some cases.
Using a concentrated “pulsed-dye” light energy, lasers have the ability to dramatically lighten port wine stains on the face, and these treatments can begin during infancy. This is mostly because blood vessels are smaller, and the birthmark is lighter and easier to treat. When it comes to laser treatments, it’s important to understand that other methods such as freezing, tattooing and even radiation have been used. Yet, lasers remain the only therapy that works on port wine stain birthmarks with less risk of damage to the skin.
In other instances, the birthmark may develop growths that are similar to grapes, or it may appear bumpy and thick. These are referred to as vascular blebs, and while another type of laser can be used, surgery may be necessary to remove them in order to prevent bleeding.
Though laser treatments and excision surgery continue to help lighten and remove the appearance of port wine stains, it’s important to have realistic expectations regarding treatment. These types of birthmarks are different for every child, and some require multiple treatments for best results.
The Highest Level Of Specialized Care For Children Affected By Port Wine Stain
At the Vascular Birthmark Institute of New York, parents of children with port wine stain know that they are receiving the highest level of specialized care. With comprehensive evaluations and individualized treatment protocols, we welcome your call today.