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Removing birthmarks with lasers can be a delicate and tricky process. No two are alike. Each has its own location, color, shape and size which makes laser treatment of birthmarks a highly-individualized process. Generally, birthmarks are either red or brown, and there are several different types of each. Examples of red or “vascular” birthmarks include port wine stains and hemangiomas. Brown or “pigmented” birthmarks include café-au-lait and nevus of Ota/Ito. The reason it is important to distinguish between these two groups is that they each require different yet specific lasers to treat them effectively.
Red, vascular birthmarks require lasers that target blood vessels, while brown, pigmented birthmarks need lasers that target skin pigment or melanin. It is also important to note that while many of both types of birthmarks can be fully removed using these lasers, sometimes the best we can do is fade the birthmark so that it’s not so noticeable.
Pulsed dye lasers use technology that targets hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is part of the red blood cell, so it’s a great target if we are trying to get rid of anything that has blood vessels. Vascular birthmarks respond very well to this type of laser, but usually take more treatments over a longer period: 6 to 10 treatments total to see full results. Again, sometimes we can get rid of red birthmarks completely, and other times, the laser fades them a great deal.
Q-switched lasers are the treatment of choice for pigmented or brown birthmarks. Because these contain melanin (skin pigment), they usually fade quickly with the proper treatment. Celibre Medical currently uses two q-switched YAG lasers for these types of spots, and we have found that most patients get full results or significant fading after just 3 to 5 treatments with either of our devices. We tell our patients that the sun can stimulate the pigment in the birthmark to return, so heavy, repeated sun exposure of the treated area should be avoided. Q-switched lasers are safe to use on any skin type (color). This is important to know because pigmented birthmarks can be more common in people with darker skin like Hispanics and Asians.
No matter which type of birthmark you have, Celibre has a laser that can safely and effectively remove it. We pride ourselves on being at the forefront of laser medicine and only use the latest, FDA-approved lasers to treat birthmarks. We’ve made sure that we’ve taken extra time and care in choosing our devices so that we can offer treatment to almost anyone with any type of birthmark anywhere on the body. Because of this, we have years of experience in treating a wide array of both types of birthmarks on all skin types. And this is why you can trust Celibre Medical to safely and effectively treat yours as well.