What is a port-wine stain?
A port-wine stain is a birthmark that often starts out looking pink at birth and tends to become darker (usually reddish-purple or dark red) as kids grow. Around 3 out of every 1,000 kids are born with a port-wine stain.
Port-wine stains (also known as nevus flammeus) can be anywhere on the body but most commonly are found on the face, neck, scalp, arms, or legs. They can be any size, and usually grow in proportion with a child. They often change in texture over time, too – early on, they’re smooth and flat but they may thicken and feel like pebbles under the skin during adulthood.
For most kids, port-wine stains are no big deal – they’re just part of who they are. However, some port-wine stains get darker and can sometimes become disfiguring and embarrassing for children. Port-wine stains (especially on the face) can make kids feel self-conscious, particularly during the already challenging preteen and teen years when kids are often more interested in blending in than standing out.
Although port-wine stains won’t go away on their own, they can be treated. The good news is that lasers can make many kids’ port-wine stains much lighter, especially when the birthmark is on the head or neck. At Clear Dermatology & Aesthetics Center we are proud to offer the V-Beam Perfecta “pulsed-dye” laser. Laser treatment is often started in infancy when the stain and the blood vessels are smaller and the birthmark is much easier to treat. But that doesn’t mean laser treatments can’t help older kids or teens, too – it’s just that the longer someone has had the stain, the harder it might be to successfully treat it.
If you would like to schedule a consultation with one of our board-certified Dermatologists who has been trained in treating port-wine stains with the pulse-dye laser, please contact our office today.