Birthmarks are simply discolored patches of skin. As the name suggests, they are either present from birth or appear shortly thereafter. They are usually harmless but can be considered unattractive if they are large and/or appear on an exposed part of the body like the face. Researchers currently don’t know why most birthmarks develop.
The Different Types
Birthmarks fall into two broad categories: pigmented and vascular. Pigmented ones are caused by clusters of pigment cells that usually make the birthmark darker than the surrounding skin. Examples include the following:
• Congenital nevi or moles
• Mongolian blue spots
• Café au lait spots
• Nevus of Ota
• Nevus Depigmentosus
Vascular birthmarks are caused by small and misshapen blood vessels. There are three main types:
• Port wine stains
• Salmon patches
• Strawberry hemangiomas
How are Birthmarks Treated?
Treatments for birthmarks can vary depending on the type and their proximity to the skin’s surface. For example, birthmarks that are near the skin’s surface can at least be lightened and made less visible with a laser treatment. Both vascular and pigmented birthmarks can be treated with the right laser system.
What is the PicoWay Laser?
The PicoWay laser can be used to remove pigmented birthmarks. The system emits lasers at three different wavelengths that allow it to treat blemishes at different depths and of different colors. The laser can be set to be either fractional or non-fractional. It emits picosecond pulses of energy that break up the pigment.
These treatments are performed in the comfort of our office. While the patient may see improvement after a single treatment, they may need a series of treatments to get the desired results.
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