A birthmark is a colored patch of skin, often visible at birth or soon after birth. There are many different kinds of birthmarks and they can be any size, shape, or even color. They can be flat or raised, blue, blue-gray, brown, tan, black, pink, white, red, or purple in color. Some birthmarks are made up of blood vessels that are bunched together while others are from extra color (pigment) in the skin, but the exact causes of these are unknown. The most common types of vascular birthmarks are macular stains, hemangiomas, and port-wine stains.
Most birthmarks are harmless and painless, and will fade over time. Rarely does a birthmark need to be treated due to a medical problem. If the birthmark causes problems with sight, breathing, hearing, speech, or movement then it should be treated. Occasionally a birthmark may form an open sore, which is painful and can become infected; seek a dermatologists’ care for treatment if this happens. Also, if a birthmark suddenly grows over a day or two, it should be examined. Lasers therapy treatment can be used to prevent growth and/or to fade or remove some birthmarks.
Laser treatment is available at Soderstrom Skin Institute. For a consultation appointment with one of our physicians, please call 1-888-970-7546.