Birth Mark Removal

A birthmark is a spot, patch or irregularity on the skin which is present since birth or appears soon after birth. Birthmarks affect 1 in 3 people and draw unwanted attention. Sometimes, they are hereditary meaning that others in the family have them too.

Birthmarks are composed of various types of normal tissue or pigment that have lost their way to their normal destination during development. They can be found anywhere on the body.Birthmarks range from being hardly noticeable to aesthetically undesirable.They may be flat or raised, have regular or irregular borders and vary in colors from black, brown, pink or red.About 50% of the birthmarks go away naturally whereas others need some kind of treatment like laser therapy to get rid of them.

Birthmarks are mainly categorized into two types:

  • Pigmented

Pigmented birthmarks occur when there is excess deposition of pigment cells in one area of the skin. Pigment cells are what give the skin its natural colour. Some types of pigmented birthmarks are moles, café au lait spots and mongolian blue spots. These marks can vary in shape, size and color.

  • Vascular

Vascular birthmarks are composed of extra blood vessels that clump together at one place and are visible through the skin.They can be flat or elevated and may vary in colour from light pink to dark purple. Certain types of vascular birthmarks can evolve and change after birth.

Is removing birthmarks necessary?

Most birthmarks are harmless and do not require anything to be done. Some may increase in size or change character over time and become bothersome with increasing age.They may then need to be addressed. There are few ways of removing a birthmark which include laser therapy, medications or even surgery.

Birthmark Removal using Laser Therapy

Laser is a permanent and effective way to get rid of or faint the birthmarks and make them less visible. Lasers allow surgeons to work with a high level of precision by focusing on a small area, with least damage to the surrounding tissue. This is a remarkable way to deal with birthmarks as they are small in size and easily identified due to the different colour tone than normal skin. Laser birthmark removal works like tattoo removal targeting the color or pigments in the area.There are no major side effects or risks related to this treatment.

Procedure

  • Local anesthetic can be applied to reduce discomfort during the procedure.
  • A hand held laser is used to work around the birthmark.
  • Laser uses highly concentrated pulsing beams of light, the strength of which can be modulated depending on the indication of use.
  • Laser changes the molecular structure of pigments in the birthmark so that they are broken down and slowly absorbed by the body over the next few days.
  • In abnormal blood vessels, laser targets the pigment haemoglobin which causes vaporization of the blood leading to collapse of abnormal micro capillaries.
  • After the laser sitting, the birthmark may initially change colour or appearance.
  • Gradually the changes settle and eventually the final outcome is visible after a few weeks.
  • Depending on the structure, depth and complexity of the birthmark, the procedure may need to be repeated a few times to get the best result.