Birthmark Removal

Birthmark Removal is a procedure to permanently remove the unwanted birthmark on your skin that commonly occurs at birth, hence the name. Birthmarks can appear in different sizes, colours and shapes. Some birthmarks are prominent and some are inconspicuous. Some birthmarks may fade, but others remain for life. People have their birthmarks removed because some birthmarks like moles may be associated with cancer, though some have these removed because they simply find them unattractive and lower their self-esteem. There are different types of birthmarks: hemangiomas, pigmented-type birthmarks, vascular malformations, and the mascular stains or salmon patches. Birthmark removal can be done by laser or by traditional surgical procedures.

The Procedure:

Q. What is laser birthmark removal? A. This is a painless procedure that requires little to no anaesthetic. A numbing cream maybe applied for those who have little tolerance to pain, as one may feel a bit of discomfort during the treatment. A yellow light coming from a pulsed dye laser will target the birthmark and will harmlessly pass through the skin. As the light passes the translucent layers of the skin, it will then heat the underlying blood vessels, the root of the birthmark. The heated blood will coagulate and the blood vessel atrophy will make the color light. Q. How does a surgical birthmark removal work? A. This is rarely performed now unless the laser birthmark removal was not successful, which is rare. The surgical procedure can also be performed for cases like haemangioma causing the skin to be deformed and stretched or when the haemangioma is vascular and when an internal organ also requires a surgery and a general anaesthestic. Before the procedure, a pathologist to verify if it is a genuine birthmark, or a pigmented lesion will check the mark. A local anaesthetic is to be applied to numb the area, after which the surgery is performed.

Risks and Complications:

These are rare and often only temporary, however, they may include:

  • For the surgical procedure, there may be bleeding.
  • Scarring, infection and an allergic reaction with the use of anaesthesia may occur.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q. How long does the laser birthmark removal take? A. It depends on the depth and size of the birthmark. Q. When do I see results after the laser birthmark removal? A. Results can be seen immediately after the procedure. But birthmark removal usually needs a couple of treatments to completely remove it. Q. How long is the recovery time for a laser birthmark removal? A. There may be a feeling of tenderness and discomfort that should fade, usually with 7 to 10 days. Q. Is the procedure painful? A. For a laser procedure, there may be a slight feeling of a rubber band snapping at the skin, or a temporary, mild burning sensation.