Birthmark Removal Before and After

April 25, 2012

There are two main types of birthmarks, vascular and pigmented. Birthmarks which are permanent pigmentation can appear on any part of the body. The irregularity can be lighter or darker than your normal skin tone. There are also red birthmarks which are caused by increased blood vessels. The shape can be large or small and can even form recognizable shapes like a love heart. Some can be cute (like having a tiny light-colored strawberry on your inner thigh) whilst others can be quite hideous (like a large vascular port-wine stain covering half of your face). Having a massive stain on visible parts of the body can be very devastating for the individual.

Unlike age spots, which are usually caused by the sun, you get birthmarks at birth or shortly (like a month) afterward. Luckily, there are methods of removing them, with cosmetic laser surgery being very effective. Different lasers are used, depending on your skin type. Most clinics will use q-switched lasers and Co2 laser. On the other hand, intense light V Beam is primarily used for removal of red birthmarks. Where non-surgical means do not work, then surgery may be necessary. Unfortunately, most of these lesions cannot be hidden with foundation.

Before and after photo

Before and After Photo - Port-wine Stain Birthmark Removal

Photo #1

Tashana had her port wine stain birthmark removed at the age of 21. You can see a major portion of her face was covered with a bright red lesion prior to the laser treatment. Following the procedure, her skin is much more clear and beautiful, the stain significantly reduced.


Causes of birth marks

The cause of birthmarks is still largely a mystery in the medical world. They can be genetically passed on from the parent, but usually this isn’t the case. Parents who don’t even have a mole on their skin can end up bearing a child with a large or dark patch on their skin. To this day, doctors cannot explain why such skin defects appear. There are some theories and old wives tales floating around. One explanation is from the mother’s diet, eating something or not consuming foods which contribute to their formation. Another is trauma to the child’s skin during birth. These have not been scientifically proven. So, unfortunately, there’s nothing you can really try in order to avoid your baby from being born with one.

When you think about it, more people in third world countries and those exposed to hazardous waste, chemicals and radioactivity have a higher tendency to be born with deformities of the skin, limbs and body. Some have extremely debilitating conditions including tumors and yes, birthmarks. Perhaps one thing you could try is to have an extremely natural and healthy pregnancy. Eat organic food and don’t expose yourself to unnecessary chemicals. You wouldn’t believe how much toxins are present in many cosmetic products such as hair dye, hair spray, spray tan and even makeup. Try to use natural organic products to keep yourself and your baby as healthy as possible.

The different types of birthmarks include: strawberry birthmarks, salmon patches, Mongolian spots, port-wine stains, café-au-lait spots, vascular, blood vessel, pigmented birthmarks, macular stains, hemangiomas, angel kisses, stork bites, superficial, bright red, flat, raised, deep, bluish, moles, congenital nevi, hairy nevus, blue-gray.

You can get birthmarks on any area of the body including the head, face, forehead, eyelids, nose, lips, neck, arm, leg, back, chest, buttocks, thighs and even the feet. Whilst many people think they mostly appear on Caucasian or white skin, some types are more common on darker skin types including on people of Asian, African, Hispanic, Southern European and American Indian descent.

More birthmark removal before and after photos >>>>

Before treatment

Prior to getting your baby in to the doctors for removal of unsightly patches, there are some which may disappear on their own. Macular stains fade over time but some may remain, especially if located at the back of the neck. They aren’t very obvious and being in that area they can also be hidden under collars, turtle neck tops or wearing the hair styled down. Hemangiomas are another type which can disappear by around age 9 if left alone.

On the other hand, some stains should be treated early on. These include port wine stains which are more easily treated when the blood vessels are smaller and the spot is still relatively small. Lasers are used to lighten the stork bites. You should consult your child’s doctor about the blotches whilst they are still very young. Ask the doctor to diagnose the type of birthmark so you know what you’re dealing with. Only then you can confirm whether it should be dealt with quickly or whether it can be left alone.

If you’re worried about lasers or surgery, there are a few home remedies to try. It is always better to try and help the body to rid of a blemish naturally in order to minimize exposure to trauma. Some home remedies recommended for reducing birthmarks include vitamin E and orange oil, lemon juice, tomato juice, ice packs and olive oil.

Risk, complications & side effects

There are few things which can go wrong with treatments. One of the risks associated with having birthmarks removed is the possibility of them returning, especially after using laser on Café-au-lait spots and port-wine stains. If this happens, you will need to retreat the area. You may also have problems with skin tone, with the treated area being lighter or darker than the surrounding skin following the treatment. Sometimes there may be a darker border with lighter skin in the middle. In other patients, the birthmark has actually darkened. Additional treatment is required to resolve these irregularities.

Surgical removal has some short lived side effects which often include bruising, scabbing or even bleeding. There may be some scars left over, but usually if the scarring is small, this will fade to nothing over time. More severe is the possibility of an infection, but this can be avoided if you keep the wound clean and follow your surgeon’s instructions. Conversely, if your doctor tells you that you should allow the mark to grow out itself, there’s the likelihood of it getting worse and you requiring more intervention than was originally necessary. This will all depend on how the mark develops over time, which can be quite unpredictable.

Recovery time

The recovery process is relatively light and simple. Following laser treatment, the birthmark may turn white and you may have some bruises. This is only temporary. Typically the color will be dark purple for around a week but this can last up to two months. Eventually the discoloration should fade. Whilst your skin is healing, it may itch a little. Try not to scratch it. You shouldn’t have any scars after laser surgery. You will also be advised to avoid direct sunlight and apply an SPF30+ broad spectrum sunscreen.

If yours is the case where the birthmark does get darker following your appointment, you may want a backup plan of how you’re going to hide the darker pigment for a while. This can be easy if it’s located on your back, butt or thighs. But what if it’s on your chest or arms? Well, this can still be easily disguised in winter by wearing long sleeved clothing or high-necked skivvies. It will be more difficult to hide where the discoloration appears on your face. Birthmarks are already hard to conceal with makeup so you may end up with more problems than you first started. This is a possibility you need to consider prior to having the treatment. Even blemishes which have been worsened by treatment can be lightened with more laser sessions.

After surgery

Whether you have your stains removed with lasers or surgically, you will need to wait some time before your skin is absolutely blemish free. This could be a week to a couple of months, depending on the type of discoloration, its size, your skin type and how well you look after your skin after the procedure. Once the mark is gone, you will feel relieved. You will no longer be self-conscious about that area of your body, which can take the world off your shoulders.

People with hideous birthmarks can greatly benefit from having them removed. This will not only improve their skin but can also have a significant impact on their quality of life. If this is you, you may always have thoughts in the back of your mind like “how will I find a boyfriend with that on my face?” or “I’m sick of people staring at that part of my body”. These thoughts will dissipate with the birthmark itself, freeing up your mind to concentrate on more important, positive thoughts.

Cost

You can expect to pay upwards of $400 to have a birthmark removed using laser technology. The cost will increase depending on your location, where the birthmark is situated on your body, the type of mark, how extensive it is and the type of treatment required. If the first attempt doesn’t work, be prepared to fork out more money to have it redone. To have one surgically removed, the price will also depend on the size of the blemish and can be anywhere between $200 and $2,000.

Opinions

I’m 34 years old and I’ve always had a large brown/reddish mark on my inner thigh. I’m quite pale so it really stood out when I wore short shorts, skirts, dresses or swim wear. It just look like I had spilled gravy or wine on my leg. I always hated seeing it there whenever I looked down. Last year I had it lasered off. It took about three weeks to fade away. I didn’t think it would disappear. It had haunted me for so long I just believed I would remain stuck with it. I am so happy to see it go. There is still a slight discoloration (light pink) but it’s barely noticeable.

Submitted by Sharon on April 25, 2010

YouTube video

This YouTube video by Dr David Goldberg explains that the removal of port wine stain birthmarks which are caused by too many blood vessels being close to the skin. He stresses that treatment should be commenced early enough in children – like two weeks of age. The younger the patient, the better the results are. He uses the latest light pulsed dye lasers on infants, children and adults.

More before and after photos

Before and After Photo: Vascular Birthmark Removal

Photo #2

Before Trevor had the vascular stain removed from his upper cheek, the blemish was very obvious. What now remains of the lesion is considerably lighter and much less noticeable.

 Before and After Photo: Café-au-lait Spots Birthmark Removal

Photo #3

Belinda had a large café-au-lait birthmark on her face which covered her right cheek from the bottom of her eye to her chin. The mark was lightly colored (like coffee blended with milk) but still very conspicuous. You can barely notice there was any discoloration after the treatment.

 Before and After Photo: Mongolian Spots Birthmark Removal

Photo #4

Patricia is of Asian original and has been troubled by a Mongolian spot around her right eye. It wasn’t just a fleck, it was a widespread discoloration which covered most of that side of her face. After laser surgery, there’s no hint of it ever being there.

 Before and After Photo: Hemangioma Birthmark Removal

Photo #5

This infant was born with a Hemangioma which covered a large area above his right eye, dispersing onto his forehead and scalp. Following professional laser removal, there’s only a small trace remaining.


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One Response to “Birthmark Removal Before and After”

Comment from Jodie
Time May 15, 2012 at 9:18 am

About a year ago I noticed this large dark grey patch on the back of my neck. It’s not that noticeable, only if you’re standing up close to me. I’ve never noticed it before and I’m 28 years old. My doc says it’s a birth mark but i thought you only get birthmarks when you’re born or shortly afterwards.
I don’t really know what to do about it. It just looks like I haven’t washed my neck properly for ages 🙁

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