What is a port wine stain?
Port wine stains, also known as nevus flammeus, are a unique type of birthmark that appears as a red or pink mark on the skin. These birthmarks are most commonly found on the face, head, arms or legs. While these birthmarks typically do not require medical treatment, they can affect a person’s self-confidence.
What causes a port wine stain?
Port wine stains are caused by overactive blood flow through the tiny vessels in the body. This excessive blood flow causes the vessels to enlarge, and the excess blood is what creates the actual mark on the skin. Certain genetic factors seem to influence a person’s risk for having a port wine stain.
What treatments are available for a port wine stain?
In the treatment of a port wine stain, pulsed dye laser treatment works by destroying the blood vessels that cause the red discoloration on the skin. In most cases, the appearance of the port wine stain is diminished significantly, often to the point where the port wine stain is barely noticeable. At Skin Laser & Surgery Specialists, we offer an array of treatments that can effectively treat port wine stain. When you come for your initial consultation, we will craft a custom treatment plan for you.
Is the treatment for a port wine stain uncomfortable?
Port wine treatment should happen early in life because the blood vessels are much smaller and easier to treat. Some children may not tolerate the sensation of the laser, so a topical anesthesia is used to numb the skin. Pulsed dye laser treatment, however, is an effective port wine stain treatment in adolescence and adulthood. Most older patients are better able to tolerate the discomfort, but a topical anesthesia can be administered for these cases as well.
Is there any downtime required?
Our dermatologists may recommend rest after port wine stain treatment with the pulsed dye laser, especially for younger patients. The amount of downtime and limitations to activities varies by patient. Our office will provide a thorough list of aftercare instructions, both to ensure your comfort and to optimize your results.
How do I get started?
To move forward with port wine stain treatment, your next step is a private consultation at one of our offices in New York or New Jersey. To schedule your consultation with Dr. Goldberg or one of our other board-certified dermatologists, please call our office today.