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How do I treat my child’s port-wine stain birthmark?

How do I treat my child’s port-wine stain birthmark?
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Once kids hit their teens, you can pretty much bank on their port-wine stain birthmark becoming a source of embarrassment and shame. Most parents would prefer to avoid this, despite also wishing to confer to their children that they are beautiful just as they are. Unfortunately not everyone agrees, particularly our kids.

To overcome this and focus on the larger challenges that will face our children throughout their teenage years, we have lasers and other wave-based devices that can shrink and fade port-wine stains.

The cause of port-wine stains

The actual cause of port-wine stains is insufficient supply of nerve fibres in that area of skin during development. These nerve fibres normally keep blood vessels small, but in these babies, the capillaries keep growing in this area. The blood fills the blood vessels, causing what looks like a stain under the skin. This is called a vascular birthmark. Port-wine stains are nobody’s fault, and could not have been prevented.

Laser and radiofrequency treatments for port-wine stains

Laser, radiofrequency or other wave-based treatments for port-wine stains can be very successful, and can work well if started early in the child’s life when the area is small. The object is usually to shrink the blood vessels, reducing their appearance or causing them to be destroyed completely, then be reabsorbed by the body.

It must be noted that these treatments doesn’t always work on port-wine stains, since everyone’s marks are different. Other technology may be used to help shrink and fade the stains, so speak to your dermatologist. It’s also possible for a treated port-wine stain to return later.

Does the lasers or radiofrequency treatments hurt?

Some treatments are more uncomfortable than others, but some are completely pain-free. Talk to your doctor about the options. Topical anaesthetic can be applied to numb the area in the case of some laser treatments. The area may swell up after the treatment, but this will resolve after about a week. Some pigmentation changes might be seen in the area, but this also usually resolves itself.

Port-wine stain removal can save your child from unnecessary embarrassment, clearing or fading the marks with a few key treatments. We have many options and lots of experience, so talk to us today.

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