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Most birthmarks are perfectly harmless and usually fade before a child finishes kindergarten. However, some can pose a cosmetic concern to both the parents and the child, especially when they occur on prominent areas such as the face. Therefore let’s take a look at an increasingly popular method of removing birthmarks…laser therapy.
What Are Birthmarks?
Birthmarks are a frequently occurring type of discoloration or indentations that appear on your skin at birth or during the first few weeks that a baby takes its first breath. They’re usually harmless and most fade before the age of 5.
They have the potential to appear on virtually any part of the skin. Birthmarks may be alike or may differ in appearance, color, width, and shape. Some last forever and may even increase in size over time. Most fade away completely as the child grows older.
The majority of birthmarks have no health consequences, however some may can be a sign of underlying disease condition. If you notice changes in the color, size, or shape of a birthmark it is advisable to seek further advice from a dermatologist.
In some cases, birthmarks may be a cause for concern or worry due to cosmetic reasons. In that case, some parents may opt to have their child undergo special procedures to have them removed.
What Exactly is Laser Therapy Birthmark Removal?
Although most birthmarks have no adverse effects on our health, some birthmarks may appear in prominent areas and so some people will want to have them removed. In recent years, more and more people have opted for laser technology to remove their birthmarks.
Laser birthmark removal is the use of laser technology to gradually fade a birthmark over a series of sessions. Lasers have certain characteristics that ordinary light does not have, making them suitable for use in clinical dermatology, as well as used in the beauty industry.
In recent years, the rapid development in laser technology for skincare has made it much more effective for the treatment of a wide range of skin conditions, including birthmark removal.
If the birthmark on the baby’s body is too large or dark or if the location is very conspicuous, such as on the face, it will likely have a significant impact on the baby’s life. Therefore, many parents would opt to have it removed.
Laser therapy can remove or significantly lighten birthmarks, making them less visible. The procedure should be performed by a qualified dermatologist or surgeon. It involves the use of concentrated beams of light that are released in a pulsatile manner and which be adjusted to control the intensity of the beams.
Laser therapy has a better outcome if started early such as in infancy but it can equally be used successfully on older kids and even grownups. You will usually need a series of more appointments after the first.
However, there are also different types of lasers, and the indications for various laser treatments are different. Therefore, a dermatologist with rich experience is required for diagnosis, selection of laser types, and safely carrying out the procedure.
Also, be aware that some people, such as those with scars, are not suitable for laser treatment. Laser therapy is suitable for patients of any age. Under normal circumstances, younger individuals have thinner skin than adults, and therefore a stronger capacity for absorption and subsequent repair, which makes laser therapy more effective on this age group. Also, the shallower the lesion, the more likely the procedure will have a positive outcome.
What Are the Different Types of Birthmarks That Can Be Removed With Laser Therapy?
Birthmarks can generally be divided into two: pigmented and vascular types:
- Pigmented birthmarks are as a result of an accumulation of pigment cells within a particular part of the skin. Some examples include congenital nevi, café-au-lait spots, and Mongolian blue spots.
- Vascular types are caused by malformation of the blood vessels under the skin. Common examples include hemangiomas, salmon patches, and port-wine stains.
Laser removal isn’t suitable for all types of birthmarks. Some birthmarks which respond well to laser removal therapy include Ota nevus, Ito nevus, freckles, age spots or sun spots, café-au-lait spots, brown-green spots/moles, chloasma, pigmentation caused by inflammation or trauma, etc.
Is It Safe to Remove Birthmarks with Laser Therapy?
At present, the technology of laser birthmark removal is constantly developing, and improving its safety and efficacy is the number one priority. It does not cause any impact significant on the body and other functions, and will not affect the quality of life
Therefore, in real life, laser treatment is more and more widely used. Laser birthmark removal has been accepted by more and more healthcare professionals because of its effectiveness, it leaves no scars, ease, and low recurrence rate.
But what you should know is that laser birthmark removal cannot completely remove the birthmark only once. Generally, 3-6 treatments are required to achieve the desired effect, with an interval of 2-3 months between each session.
Is It Painful to Remove a Birthmark Using Laser Therapy?
Many people may want to undergo laser therapy but are hesitant because they are afraid of the potential pain and discomfort. Laser birthmark removal is only mildly painful, and the treatment is very light. The pain has been compared to snapping a rubber band against the skin, so generally, there is no need for anesthesia.
However, if the birthmark is in a sensitive area (such as around the eyes), if the area it covers is large, or for infants and young children who cannot handle the discomfort, local infiltration anesthesia, topical anesthesia or general anesthesia can be used as appropriate. However, remember that this will increase the cost and risk of surgery.
Should You Concern about Having Scars or Tissue Damage Before Laser Therapy?
Although laser birthmark removal is very popular nowadays and much safer than it used to be, some people still have certain concerns. One of them is, will the laser remove the birthmark leave scars?
The laser does not cause damage to normal human tissues, or it only produces slight reversible damage to healthy tissue, while it produces irreversible damage to diseased tissues. Hence, it shows a high degree of selectivity and therefore no scars will form.
Also, the penetration depth of the laser is limited, and generally, it can only reach the dermis, so it will cause no damage to deep tissues. As long as you avoid looking directly at the laser beam, your eyesight will not be affected.
Also, you need to know that lasers are not rays, so don’t worry about radiation damage to the body. Even with sensitive skin, there is very little reaction to the laser.
After laser treatment, there will be local mild redness and swelling, and some blisters will appear, which will disappear on their own within 2 to 3 days and form crusts. The crusts usually fall off within a week. The new skin is slightly pink.
The skin that has been laser-treated within 3 days after the operation should be protected from light, and it is not suitable for strenuous activities and make-up before the crust comes off. Also, do not forcibly tear off the crust. Pay attention to sun protection after the crust comes off. You can apply sunscreen.
Some patients may have hyperpigmentation, which disappears on their own within a few months. However, patients with scar constitution may have hyper-proliferative scar reactions. If this occurs inform your doctor immediately.
How Much Does It Cost to Remove Birthmark With Laser Therapy?
The price of laser birthmark removal is related to many factors. Factors such as the size of the birthmark and the method of removing the birthmark can affect the price of laser birthmark removal.
If the area of the birthmark is relatively large, the cost will be relatively high, and if the area is small, the price will be relatively low. Also, there are other ways to remove birthmarks, including microdermabrasion and skin grafting, freezing method, and modern laser treatment.
In comparison, the price of microdermabrasion and skin grafting and freezing method to remove birthmarks is lower, while the price of modern laser treatments is more expensive. However, laser treatment has the advantage of not being painful, having a low risk, and little or no side effects, so it is preferred by many people.
Also, the selected institution and the attending doctor are critical for the treatment of birthmarks. Professional and authoritative experts have their unique attainments in both the protocol and the technical techniques, as well as the accumulation of a large amount of clinical experience.
If you encounter problems, they will be solved faster and better by a highly experienced doctor, so if you find this kind of doctor, it will naturally be slightly more expensive than ordinary doctors to remove birthmarks. Moreover, laser birthmark removal requires multiple treatments, and the cycle is relatively long, so it will naturally be more expensive.
The Bottom Line
Birthmarks are quite common in newborns. Most are harmless and may fade completely over time. Some, such as port-wine stains, are permanent and may even occur on prominent areas such as the face. The best way to handle such situations is through treatments such as laser therapy. The laser therapy approach to removing birthmarks is safe, effective, and best started during infancy.