Quite simply, a birthmark is called a birthmark because you are born with it. A baby will develop the birthmark either right before they are born or immediately after they are born. Either way, same result. This skin condition will have been present since birth.
The main thing to note about birthmarks is that in most cases there is nothing to worry about as they are not a sign of disease or illness, and they don’t actually hurt. Should you have any concerns, however, it’s always a good idea to visit your dermatologist who can determine what is going on with your birthmarks.
Don’t worry, we won’t ask you to say that 10 times fast (although you should try). A hemangioma is the most common type of birthmark, and is defined by a lot of small blood vessels in one particular area that have grown in a particular part of the skin (anywhere on the body, arms, legs, neck, torso, face, etc.). Because these types of birthmarks are caused by blood vessels, they are characterized by a red or purplish colour.
One of the sweetest types of birthmarks, are known as angel kisses. These, too, are hemangiomas, however what makes them particularly special is their location. They are typically found in between the eyebrows, hence the name. You’ll notice that these birthmarks are formed because of wider blood vessels and they eventually disappear with age.
Strawberry, or superficial, hemangiomas are named after the fruit because of their bright red colour that sticks out of the skin, and is sometimes shaped like a strawberry. These types of birthmarks sometimes disappear by the time a child turns 5, and most will be gone before they turn 10.
A deep birthmark can be found beneath the outer layer of skin, and is therefore sometimes called cavernous. They are characterized by a more bluish-red colour and are more swollen (or puffy) then the other types of birthmarks.
Port Wine Stains
These types of birthmarks are flush with the skin, and have a maroon or dark red colour to them because of the wider blood vessels causing these marks. They were named because of the colour of the marks, which is similar to the wine. You’ll find these types of birthmarks around the neck or on the face.
If your spots are blue, black or brown in colour then it’s like a mole and not a birthmark. Moles are equally non-threatening (in most cases) and are simply a bunch of pigment cells that have grouped together. Moles are also called beauty marks or beauty spots. Remember what your mom used to say when you were little? The more beauty marks you have the prettier (or more handsome) you are! If Mom was wrong, our mole removal procedure can help with that.
Laser Surgery & Treatment
Some birthmarks can be treated or removed with laser surgery to diminish the appearance or prominence of the birthmarks. Dr. Crippen and the DermMedica team offer different types of laser treatments to help with different types of birthmarks. Contact the clinic to book a consultation.
Kelowna birthmark removal
We offer the following birthmark removal treatments in Kelowna:
Quick Answers About Birthmarks
Skin Under Birthmarks? What Does Skin Look like When a Birthmark Has Been Removed? Does It Look like Normal Skin or Is It Always Going to Be Discolored?
This all depends on the type of birthmark being removed. Birthmarks can be vascular lesions (involving blood vessels) or they can be pigmented with melanin or a variety of other skin cell types. Normally after lightening/removal of the birthmark the skin does not retain the colour of the skin around the area, usually there is some lightening compared to “normal” skin colour for this person. The colour of the skin in the area of the birthmark will never be 100% normal but it can usually be dramatically improved.
Are Birthmarks Treated Effectively with Lasers?
Lasers are the most effective treatment for removing birthmarks without the recovery time that is necessary for most surgery/invasive treatments. Laser treatments are typically performed over a series of comfortable visits. The spot is diminished a little more with each visit until it is no longer as visible as it once was. This treatment will not likely interfere with your life or career duties.
How Many Treatments Are Necessary to Remove Birthmarks?
All of the types of birthmarks we listed above will require different approaches. Many small and lightly colored spots can be resolved in a single treatment session. Larger and darker spots may require more treatments to remove, with enough time between them to allow the skin to recover. You’ll be given a more accurate treatment schedule at your personal consultation.
How Much Does Birthmark Removal Cost?
This really depends on what kind of birthmark as they are multiple reasons to have one. We can surgically remove them or use lasers in most cases. We would need to see the skin lesion before giving a quote on what we would recommend.
Treatment for Hair Birthmark?
Some birthmarks have dark hairs that grow within them. Sometimes we will surgically excise these for the right patient.
How Can I Treat a Port Wine Stain (Vascular Birthmark)?
The standard treatment for this birthmark is a vascular laser. Many treatments are usually required to lighten this lesion and it can be stubborn to remove entirely.
Can White Birthmark Be Treated with a Laser?
Usually not. We would have to see the lesion in question to give a better idea of some treatment options. Occasionally an excimer laser can be used to treat hypopigmentation of the skin.
Will Birthmark Removal on Forehead Leave a Scar?
Yes, it is possible. It all depends on the kind of birthmark and what we would do to try and remove it. For a vascular birthmark, usually the laser doesn’t cause the scar it is usually the birthmark itself that causes the scarring once the blood vessels are removed.
Can Birthmark on the Face Be Removed?
Absolutely, we treat lesions on the skin all the time.
Is It Possible to Remove an Angel Kiss Birthmark?
Yes, these types of lesions are amenable to laser therapy however in order to have the lesion treated the child requires general anesthesia at a pediatric hospital. We can refer your child for this procedure. It is important to note that very commonly these lesions will disappear in time so no treatment may be required.
How Many Surgeries I Need to Remove Port Wine Stain?
There are no set number of treatments as each lesion behaves differently when lasered. We usually suggest that a dozen treatment will be needed for a significant improvement but complete removal is difficult to achieve in most patients.
Does Laser Treatment Worsen the Appearance of Birthmark?
It certainly can if the wrong laser is chosen. We recommend all patients see physicians who are certified by the American Board of Laser Surgery in Cosmetic Procedures.