Birthmarks are either:
- Red (port-wine stains) or
- Brown (congenital melanocytic naevi).
Some birthmarks appear later in life, these can be Becker’s naevus or Keratinocytic naevus (Epidermal naevus).
Effect of such birthmarks on confidence of the patients cannot be underestimated. Several patients seek treatment later in life.
Can birthmarks be removed?
Pulsed dye laser was invented for treatment of port wine stains. Results of treatment are very good although several treatments are required. Many factors dictate the efficacy of treatment such as location and colour of port wine stains.
Congenital melanocytic naevi or brown birthmarks can be improved with pigment lasers such as Q Switched lasers. Complete removal of birthmarks with lasers may not be possible.
As a general rule, sooner the treatment, better the response.
What are the other options?
Occasionally surgical excision or cosmetic camouflage may be a better option for some birthmarks.