Port Wine Stain Removal
Performed at our Duluth, GA medical office, north of Atlanta.
Port wine stains are dark red or purple birthmarks that can appear anywhere on the body, though the face is often the most commonly affected area. Varying in size, port wine stains can appear at birth as flat, pale pink splotches of skin that grow darker and rougher as children mature, though some do appear later in life. While they may fade with age, most grow deeper in color as time passes.
Port wine stains occur when blood vessels in the skin increase in size and remain expanded. This extended dilation is believed to be caused by a damaged nerve supply in which the nerves that narrow the blood vessels do not work properly.
Laser removal of port wine stains and other birthmarks involves use of the pulsed dye laser. Used for the treatment of rosacea and hemangiomas as well, the pulsed dye laser can be focused to destroy blood vessels in the skin. Using heat energy, the laser dissolves the damaged capillaries allowing the body to dispose of the dilated veins naturally. The number of treatments varies based on the size and depth of the birthmark or port wine stain present, but it usually takes a minimum of three treatments for total removal.
Laser Lights Cosmetic Laser Center in Duluth, GA (north of Atlanta) can permanently remove birthmarks and port wine stains. Our FDA approved, advanced cosmetic laser technology is safe for all skin types.
What is the difference between a port wine stain and a hemangioma?
While both port wine stains and hemangiomas are birth marks that are categorized as “vascular lesions,” there are key differences. Hemangiomas occur when blood vessels form abnormally, and port wine stains appear when otherwise normal blood vessels dilate. As a result, hemangiomas are typically raised and bright red (unless they’re under the skin, in which case they can be purple), while port wine stains are flat. However, both types of birthmarks can typically be treated effectively with laser procedures.
Will my port wine stain go away on its own?
It is technically possible for a port wine stain to fade over time, but this is rare. In fact, in most cases, port wine stains can actually become darker and/or larger as you age, so many of our patients find that having them removed earlier will save them having more extensive treatments later in life.
Do I need to do anything to make my laser port wine stain removal successful?
You will be given instructions to follow before and after your procedure, so you simply need to follow those instructions carefully. Your primary concern should be sun protection. You should protect your skin for up to six weeks before your treatment (by wearing and re-applying sunscreen consistently, staying out of the sun when possible, and ideally wearing a wide-brimmed hat or clothing that shades the treatment area), as well as six weeks after your procedure.