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Birthmarks come in all shapes, colors, sizes and locations. Many “birthmarks” may not even be visible at birth, but develop in the first few months or years of life. And while many people like their birthmarks, others do not. If you’re someone that doesn’t like having a birthmark, laser medicine has opened the door to significantly reducing the appearance of a birthmark or even removing it altogether!
Brown birthmarks have many different names: café-au-lait spots, nevus of Ota, and congenital nevus are just to name a few. And while each of these types of brown birthmarks looks a bit different from the other, they all have one thing in common: they are made of melanin. Because of this, a very specific, powerful type of laser known as a q-switched laser can be used to help remove them.
Q-switched lasers target melanin. Their energy destroy the melanin-containing cells that make up birthmarks. These cells are then replaced with new ones that do not have the memory of the birthmark. The visual effect is a fading of the birthmark. In many cases, significant fading occurs; in others, the birthmark may disappear entirely.
There are some types of brown birthmarks that should not be treated with q-switched laser. It is always a good idea to see a dermatologist and have your birthmark evaluated before having any laser removal treatments performed. However, if you get the green light to treat, birthmark laser removal can be a safe and very effective option to get rid of your birthmark permanently!