Laser Birthmark Removal: A Primer
Many of us, approximately one-third of humankind, have a birthmark. Oh, they vary in size, shape, and color and we respond to them in different ways. Some of us may find the presence of a bluish spot of skin not disturbing in the least; others may flinch at its sight in the dressing mirror.
Most birthmarks pose no threat to our physical health, though a few raised birthmarks, commonly called moles, may do so. Whether a doctor recommends the removal of a mole or you have decided that you’d like to have one removed for cosmetic or emotional reasons, laser birthmark removal is an option commonly chosen. Let’s delve into this procedure.
Can all birthmarks be removed with lasers?
Not all birthmarks respond to laser treatment. If your birthmark is classified as pigmented, or as the result of an abnormally high amount of the cells that color your skin, it is likely that it will not respond well to laser treatment. There are exceptions, like the cafe lait birthmark, which can usually be removed using laser technology – though such a mole often returns, requiring additional treatment.
If your birthmark is of the vascular variety, meaning that it is the result of over-wide blood vessels, or too many of them, it is likely that laser removal is an option. Your family doctor, or a dermatologist, can classify your birthmark and inform you whether laser treatment might be effective in its removal.
For a more detailed overview of birthmark types, then check out what is a birthmark.
Are you a good candidate for laser birthmark removal?
If you are disturbed by your birthmark; if its existence has brought you emotional pain or anxiety, you would likely benefit from having your birthmark removed, whether by laser or another method.
What can I expect if I have a laser birthmark removal?
- The most common kind of laser used in birthmark removal is a pulsed dye laser. This laser does not penetrate deeply within the skin, and as such may be ineffective if your mole is more deeply embedded than the laser can penetrate.
- A pulsed dye laser focuses on the blood vessels within a vascular birthmark.
Patients undergoing laser birthmark removal will be required to wear goggles, so as to protect the eyes from the strength of the laser.
- A wand is used to apply the laser therapy.
Having a laser applied to your birthmark does not generally generate pain. You may feel a slight snapping sensation as the wand is applied.
- A small, fairly light birthmark may only require a couple of “pulses” or application of the wand while a larger birthmark, such as those referred to as port-wine stains can require several visits over a significant period of time.
- The recovery time is not significant if the birthmark is of a regular size and variety; all should be well with a few weeks.
- While the goal is to completely remove the birthmark, it is more realistic to expect a result of between 70% and 90%.
What are the possible risks of laser birthmark removal?
There are some possible risks associated with laser birthmark surgery, though these side effects, when they do occur, are unlikely to be permanent:
- A patient could experience a darkening of the affected skin.
- The area around the birthmark could become swollen, red, or bruised.
- The laser could have the result of lightening the skin in a noticeable way.
How effective is laser birthmark removal?
Our research has shown that laser birthmark removal is an effective way to rid yourself of vascular birthmarks and a limited number of pigmented birthmarks. As stated above, the removal may not be complete in all cases though most times the removal is at least at 80%.
Is scarring expected after laser birthmark removal?
You can expect very minor scarring after undergoing laser birthmark surgery; of the almost invisible variety.
How much does laser birthmark removal cost?
Our research shows that laser birthmark removal between $200 and $600 dollars for each treatment. Keep in mind that if you have a stubborn birthmark you may need to present yourself for more than one treatment.
Laser birthmark removal can be an effective way to remove your birthmark, if your birthmark is of the kind that is receptive to the treatment.
Other Birthmark Management Options
To end on a few alternatives that you may wish to consider. Mainly they boil down to covering up your birthmark of birthmark removal creams. Of course covering up does not solve the issue, but can be a viable option if it is visible and it causes you emotional discomfort when you are in public.
Birthmark removal creams are a great fix to the problem (depending upon the type of birthmark). This cream in particular that we discuss is highly rated as it’s a safe, herbal and (relatively) fast acting treatment. To read more check out this birthmark removal cream review that we have prepared.