Should You Consider Laser Treatment For Port Wine Stain?

If you have grown up with port wine stain, also known as nevus flammeus, you have likely considered having it removed at some point. The marks may grow prominent, especially if they are on the face. Whether you have one of these marks or you are considering finding treatment for somebody you love, laser removal may be a good choice. This guide will help you make a choice.

What Is Port Wine Stain?

Port wine stain refers to a capillary malformation of the skin. It is typically a birthmark that develops early in childhood, commonly on the face or neck. The marks are pink, sometimes darkening with age, and sit flat on the face. As you grow older with the mark, you might notice the mark thickening and developing small lumps.

As you can see, it is not unlikely that somebody might want the port wine stain mark to be removed. Thanks to laser treatment, removal of the marks is possible.

How Does Laser Removal Work?

A pulsed dye laser is used to remove port wine stain. These lasers are able to break down the port wine stain. While the lasers are most effective when used on younger children when the mark is still lightly colored, older individuals also benefit from the treatment.

If the port wine stain has developed into a thicker mark, pulsed dye lasers may not work. There are other types of laser treatments that the doctor may consider in these cases.

What Is the Process of Laser Removal for Port Wine Stain?

Port wine stain removal can be slightly uncomfortable, but the use of anesthesia can make the process as pain-free as possible. Very young children may be put to sleep for the laser treatment.

The recovery period for laser removal of port wine stain is relatively quick. In spite of some bruising, most people get back to school or work quickly. At home, using moisturizer and keeping the mark from drying out may play a role in keeping the skin healthy.

Without treatment, there is little health risk to having port wine stain marks. Still, many people consider laser removal of the marks because they do darken and grow more prominent over time. In discussing treatment options with your doctor, you can figure out if removing port wine stain is right for you. There are also other removal methods that work better for some people.

For more information and options for port wine stain, contact a medical clinic in your area, such as Shriners Hospitals for Children – Cincinnati.