Birthmark Removal by Laser Resurfacing
Laser resurfacing can be used to lessen the appearance of both vascular and pigmented birthmarks. A fractional laser will be used since the procedure will be targeted to the specific birthmark, however, depending on how aggressive a treatment is desired, either an ablative or non-ablative laser may be used.
The SkinnyBirthmark Removal by Laser Resurfacing
- avg. recovery
About the Procedure
Birthmarks are skin lesions that you are born with. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. Birthmarks are categorized as either vascular or pigmented. Vascular birthmarks are caused by visible collection of blood vessels beneath the skin and are typically red or purple in color and. Examples of vascular birthmarks include port-wine stains or salmon patches. Pigmented birthmarks, such as moles, Cafe au lait and Mongolian spots are caused by an excess of melanin in a concentrated area. Pigmented and raised birthmarks or moles may be better treated by a shave, punch, or surgical excision. Vascular birthmark removal by laser resurfacing aims to improve and diminish the appearance of birthmarks. The laser used will always be a fractional laser which means the energy will be targeted to specific areas of the skin. Depending on the treatment recommended by your skincare professional either a fractional ablative laser or a fractional non-ablative laser will be used. Ablative lasers are more aggressive, penetrating deeper into the skin allowing the lasers to break up pigment and blood vessels, reducing the appearance of the birthmark. Ablative lasers typically require fewer treatments than non-ablative, however recovery time will be greater. The opposite is true with more gentle non-ablative lasers, which require more treatments however will be accompanied by a shorter recovery period.
The goal of birthmark removal by laser resurfacing is to reduce the appearance of a vascular or pigmented birthmark.
What to Expect
Laser resurfacing can be used to lessen the appearance of both vascular and pigmented birthmarks. Although a fractional laser will be used during treatment, either an ablative or non-ablative laser can be used to treat unwanted birthmarks. Here is a quick guide for what to expect before, during, and after birthmark removal by laser resurfacing.
- Avoid overexposure to the sun and moisturize regularly
- Stop smoking at least 4 weeks before and after treatment
- Avoid blood thinning medications
- An antiviral medication may be prescribed
Immediately After Treatment
Aftercare instructions will vary based on the type of laser used, however most patients will experience:
- Sensitive skin for 24 hours
- Mild swelling and redness
- More aggressive treatments will require protective bandages
Recovery following a laser resurfacing treatment for birthmark removal will depend on the type of laser used. Be sure to follow all aftercare instructions given by your provider. Typically, there is minimal downtime after a fractional resurfacing laser treatment. After the procedure the treated area will be temporarily red and swollen. It is common to experience skin peeling within the first week after the procedure. Keep skin moisturized to help reduce the appearance of dry and flakey skin.
The ideal candidate for birthmark removal by laser resurfacing has specific areas to be treated and is not prone to keloid scarring.
Not Recommended For
Birthmark removal by laser resurfacing is not recommended for patients who are prone to keloid scarring.
Following a laser resurfacing treatment, side effects may include temporary bruising and changes in skin pigmentation. Scarring may occur but is rare.