What It Is
Birthmarks are marks on the skin formed at birth or shortly after birth. A large proportion of newborns have a birthmark and the cause of their formation is not certain. It is suspected to be cellular damage due to radiation, chemicals or can also be genetic. Also known as skin lesion or naevis, birthmarks can be found anywhere on the body. Some birthmarks are not treatable, however in most cases can be treated by multiple sessions of laser therapy.
There are two main types of birthmarks. Vascular birthmarks are caused by abnormal blood vessels under the surface of the skin, which usually occur when the blood vessels do not form correctly. They are usually red in colour. They include “strawberry marks”, port-wine stains, hemangiomas, and stork bites.
Pigmented birthmarks are the result of the clustering of pigment cells, which are responsible for colouring the skin. They can range from tan to brown, grey to black, or may even be blue. These birthmarks may consist of “cafe-au-lait” or Mongolian spots.
Most birthmarks are harmless and painless, however it is important to have your birthmark examined by your healthcare practitioner on a regular basis as they may be associated with health problems. Many birthmarks are benign and do not require treatment and are often removed for cosmetic reasons.
How It’s Treated
These laser treatments to reduce the appearance of birthmarks on the skin are usually given at an interval of about 4 weeks, depending on your particular condition and needs. During your consultation with Dr. Jain, a treatment schedule and plan will be recommended based on your unique situation.
Nd YAG Laser – The Nd YAG Laser is effective to remove colour from the skin and is effective on brown, blue, and black spots. It breaks the pigment by penetrating the top layer of the skin and stimulates the body’s natural collagen production, which is utilized in the generation of new skin cells. This will provide the skin with the vital proteins necessary in the production of smooth, healthy, and youthful looking skin.
KTP Laser – The KTP Laser is particularly effective for targeting red pigment in the skin and for those with vascular birthmarks. It is a powerful greenlight laser that targets excess blood vessel proliferation.