Laser Removal of Birth Marks
Birth marks are marks that are seen on the skin of the newborn at birth or appear shortly after. Birth marks can be hardly noticeable or can be well noticeable and disfiguring, and no matter how large or small they are, they can be upsetting for the growing individual and/or parents.
Birth marks can be flat or raised, with regular or irregular borders, and may have different colours - black, brown, tan, pale blue, pink, red or purple.
The two main types of birthmarks are red, vascular birthmarks (for example, "strawberry" hemangiomas, port-wine stains, and "stork bites") and pigmented birthmarks (such as moles, café-au-lait spots, and Mongolian spots).
They're mostly harmless and many even go away on their own or shrink over time. Sometimes birthmarks are associated with other health problems, though, so talk to your doctor about whether this might be the case for your child.
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are moles that are present at birth. These birthmarks have a slightly increased risk of becoming skin cancer depending on their size. Larger (covers an area larger than the size of a fist) congenital nevi
have a greater risk of developing skin cancer than do smaller congenital nevi. All congenital nevi should be examined by a health care provider and any change in the birthmark should be reported.
(moles) are growths on the skin that usually are flesh-colored, brown or black. Moles can appear anywhere on the skin, alone or in groups. Moles occur when cells in the skin grow in a cluster instead of being spread throughout the skin. Moles may darken after exposure to the sun, during the teen years and during pregnancy.
usually are bluish and appear as bruises. They often appear on the buttocks and/or lower back, but they sometimes also appear on the trunk or arms. The spots are seen most often in people who have darker skin. They usually fade (often completely) by school age without treatment.
Treatment of Pigmented Birthmarks
Formerly, pigmented birthmarks were usually left alone. Nowadays, the advances in laser medicine allow us to have them treated and removed completely.
Some birth marks, such as moles, particularly large or giant congenital nevi, were often surgically removed but nowadays the use of lasers helps us avoid their surgical removal.
Café-au-lait spots are readily removed with lasers.
If a mole exhibits potentially cancerous changes, a biopsy may be performed before any decision to choose the method of its treatment is finalized.
In general, most pigmented birth marks can be removed with the use of lasers.
Since there is an increased risk of skin cancer in congenital nevi, see a doctor if you notice a change in color, size, or texture of a mole or other skin lesion. Also, see a doctor right away if there is any pain, bleeding, itching, inflammation, or ulceration of a congenital mole or other skin lesion.