There are several types of birthmarks – red birthmarks are vascular (made up of small blood vessels at the surface of the skin) and brown birthmarks that are made up of melanin (the skin’s natural pigmentation) that is darker than the surrounding skin. In addition, birthmarks come in a variety of sizes and density of pigment.
Although most birthmarks are effectively treated with class IV medical lasers, it is difficult to predict the number of laser treatments that are required for birthmark removal. The realistic expectation that we set for patients is that they have to be prepared for only improvement or fading rather than just complete resolution. In some cases we can get complete birthmark removal, but even in those cases, there is a possibility that at some time in the future, more laser treatments will be required if the birthmark reappears.
Although many birthmarks may resolve completely, it is impossible to predict which ones and with how many laser treatments. Most birthmark removal patients see good progress after three (3) aggressive laser treatments. After three treatments, if the patient is not making progress with their laser birthmark removal program, we sometimes advise them to stop because not every birthmark will respond to lasers. Most treatments do not involve any downtime, and laser treatments for birthmarks are usually less than 30 minutes.