Ever thought of getting rid of that black birthmark on your face? Does that let your self-esteem down when you make public appearances? That's the problem faced by many people who have visible and unwanted birthmarks. So, what's the solution to it? Laser treatment could be one option. Let's find out the pros and cons of this treatment option.
Babies are often seen to have dark patches of skin on their body. These patches may be present at birth or may develop soon after the birth of the baby. These patches or spots on the skin are commonly referred to as “birthmarks”. Medically, these are known as naevus. These can be present on any part of the body and are not harmful in most of the cases. Some of them may prove to be harmful, depending on their location. For example, a birthmark on the upper eyelid may cause hindrance in the baby’s vision. Birthmarks appear in various shapes, sizes and colors. Quite a few of them fade away with time, while others remain throughout life.
Birthmarks are not harmful and therefore, not a cause for concern. However if these are placed on the body in such a way that their visibility cannot be avoided, some concern is raised in the mind of the person. Nowadays, many people are resorting to cosmetic treatments to get rid of their birthmarks. There are different types of birthmarks with varied causes of their appearance.
Laser Treatment for Removing Birthmarks
A person wanting to get rid of his birthmark can opt for a laser treatment. It can be performed at any age. The size, shape, color, and intensity of the birthmark decides the course of treatment. A prior doctor’s appointment is essential. It is important to discuss the need of birthmark removal with the doctor, the benefits and risks, if any, other means of getting rid of it, and the procedural aspect of laser therapy. Usually, a cosmetic surgeon or a dermatologist is the best specialist to treat birthmarks.
What to Expect
The treatment makes use of high energy laser to clear birthmarks. It causes the birthmark to shrink and stop growing. Blood flow in the capillaries of that region stops which leads to shrinkage of the birthmark. The procedure is carried out at a doctor’s clinic, and no hospitalization is required for the same. The person is asked to come to the clinic, get himself treated with the laser therapy and allowed to go back home without any problem.
It may take a single sitting, or several sittings, of laser therapy for complete removal of a birthmark. This therapy is painless. Some may feel tingling sensation when the laser jet is fired on the birthmark for treatment. A sensation of mild burning can also be felt sometimes. People sensitive to pain are given anesthetic treatment. No other discomfort is felt by the person. Laser lightens the color of the birthmark. Birthmarks with lighter shades of color are completely removed from the body. Port-wine stains are intense in nature and require several sittings for complete removal.
After laser treatment, the area of the birthmark may have some bruising. The skin color changes to purple after the treatment. The natural shade of the skin is recovered after 10 days or more. While moving out in the sun, a sunscreen lotion must be used on the area to avoid any damage. Scratching of the treated area should be avoided as the skin is already tender after the treatment. Scratching further may cause increased bruising which will take more time to heal. Post treatment instructions of the doctor must be followed properly for fast recovery of the area.
Nominal risks are involved with this procedure. Rare cases may show bruising, bleeding or scabbing. There is a mild risk of developing uneven skin tone due to the treatment. This unevenness can be evened out using secondary laser treatments.
Treatment costs of laser therapy are quite high as they fall in the category of cosmetic surgery. Insurance companies do not reimburse the expenses of a laser treatment due to its cosmetic appeal. Normally, a single visit may cost around $400-500. The cost may vary from place to place and person to person, depending upon the size and intensity of the birthmark. People choose to remove birthmarks with laser therapy as it enhances their self-confidence. It is important to build self-confidence. However, it is equally important to know about the positives and negatives of this treatment. Hence, talk to your dermatologist about the process of birthmark removal, take your decision, and move ahead with confidence!