5.4 : Removal of Birth marks

What are birthmarks?

Birth mark may be due to excess pigment in the skin or it may be due to blood vessel lesion or defect in development of organ. Thus there are two basic types of birthmarks. Red or vascular birthmarks are most commonly seen, and are caused by an irregularity in the blood vessels. These include port wine stains and hemangiomas. Pigmented birthmarks, known as nevus (singular) or nevi (plural), are black or brown in color and are often less pronounce. Many changes develop over times.

Method of removal depends upon the type of birth mark and severity of its condition size of birth marks, affordability, technique of treatment is chosen. a) Surgical excision: Birth marks are removed for cosmetic reason or reduced due to possibility of health risk development with the help of surgical excision. Surgery may be done under general or local anesthesia. Depending upon size, the time of surgery, varies from 15 minutes to few hours. Bigger size birth mark is removed with serial excision in 2-4 sitting (or more). Invisible stitches (subcuticular) are given in most of the cases for better appearance. b) Laser treatment: Ultra-Pulse® fractional CO2 laser, Q-switch Nd: YAG Laser, Pulse Dye laser, L.P Nd: YAG laser, etc. are used for treatment of birth mark. When non ablative or non-surgical laser technology is used multiple sittings of treatment are required. Pigmentedbirth marks like nevus of ota may be treated with Q switch laser in 10-15 sitting. For reduction or eradication one may need to use combination of 2-3 techniques.For vascular birth mark like portwine stain, haemangioma, enlarged blood vessels, long pulse Nd:YAG laser and Pulsedye lasers are used. e.g. c) Laser treatment and surgical method can be used combinely.

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