Which Kinds of Birthmarks Can be Treated with Lasers?

If you have a “birthmark” that you’ve always wanted to get rid of, Celibre Medical and class IV medical lasers can help. Birthmarks come in one of two varieties: red or brown. Port wine birthmarks are red in color because they are made up of blood vessels close to the surface of the skin. Another term for this type of mark is a vascular birthmark. Brown birthmarks are darker than your normal skin color. They can range from light tan to very dark brown. These birthmarks are comprised of melanocytes, which are the skin’s pigment (melanin).

Before we describe options for both red and brown birthmarks. It’s important to know that birthmarks are not usually a “one and done” process. Fading of most birthmarks will take several laser treatments for optimal results. In some cases, fading, rather than complete removal, is the end goal.

Class IV medical lasers can safely remove several types of birthmarks on all skin types (colors). Here is a brief list of some of the birthmarks that respond to laser treatment:


These are tan to brown birthmarks that usually appear in infancy. They can range in size from ½” to several inches across, are flat and have the same texture as surrounding skin. Café-au-lait spots can occur anywhere on your body.

Cafe-au-lait Los Angeles Birthmark Removal Laser before photoCafe-au-lait Los Angeles Birthmark Removal Laser after photo
Celibre Laser Birth Mark removal patient

Becker’s Nevi

Another pigmented birthmark, Becker’s nevi are often darker in color and larger than café-au-lait spots. They are more common in males, and while they’re often present at birth, people can also develop them in puberty. They generally affect only one side of the body (i.e. are unilateral), and will extend across the chest or shoulder, or down the arm. These birthmarks are more difficult to remove with lasers.

becker's nevi birthmark
Photo courtesy of Dermnet New Zealand

Nevus of Ota

Nevus of Ota are most commonly found in Asian, Hispanic or African skin types.  They often present as dark bluish or greenish patches at the temple forehead or eye, usually only on one side.  These birthmarks are successfully treated with high powered q-switched Nd:Yg lasers.

Port Wine Stains

Port wine stains (red, vascular birthmarks) can be small or large, and often involve the facial. The color can range from red to deep purple (hence the name), and they are always present at birth. Pulsed dye lasers are an effective treatment for port wine stains, and can often remove them entirely. Keep in mind, this process may involve several treatments that are spread over a long time period.

port wine birthmark removal los angeles laser before photoport wine birthmark removal los angeles laser after photo
Celibre Laser Birth Mark removal patient

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