Port-wine Stains & Birthmarks

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What are Port-wine Stains?

Port wine stains are discolorations of the skin caused by a capillary malformation or vascular anomaly. They are name due to the unique color they present that is similar to red wine.

A port-wine stain is almost always a birthmark, and in rare cases it can develop in early childhood. Either way, port-wine stains ordinarily persist throughout life. The area of skin affected grows in proportion to general growth

Before & After Photos

Frequently asked questions

  • Red birth marks such as portwine birthmark and vascular lesions are much easier to treat than brown or pigmented birth marks
  • Portwine birthmark or Portwine Stains are one of the most common birth marks and occurs in 2-4 out of 1000 births.
  • Red birth marks include stork marks, portwine birthmark and mixed vascular lesions
  • Brown birth marks include café au lait macules, moles at birth and Becker’s or late onset naevi
  • Most red birth marks such as port wine stains are only present just below the skin, however some stains around the eye area maybe associated with ocular problems
  • Depending on the age, size, thickness and location of the portwine birthmark, 5- 10 treatments maybe needed
  • We recommend BroadBand Light (BBL)  in most cases of red birthmarks including portwine birthmark- portwine stains
  • Brown birth marks are much harder to treat, and recommend either a Q Switch or Picosecond laser – results are not as predictable as treating red birth marks
  • Some brown birthmarks, such as Becker’s Naevi are resistant to laser treatments

Port-wine stains are discolorations of the skin caused by a capillary malformation or vascular anomaly. They are name due to the unique color they present that is similar to red wine. PWS or port-wine stains are classed as red vascular birthmarks, and are made up of thousands of tiny capillaries lying in different depths of the skin. They can be slightly pink when early, but a deep purple in adult age. PWS most commonly occur in the face and neck area, but can affect any part of the body including the limbs.

A port-wine stain is almost always a birthmark, and in rare cases it can develop in early childhood. Either way, port-wine stains ordinarily persist throughout life. The area of skin affected grows in proportion to general growth

PWS do not cause symptoms, but can be psychologically distressing, especially if they occur on the face.

 

Port-wine stains occur most often on the face but can appear anywhere on the body, particularly on the neck and upper trunk. Early stains are usually flat and pink in appearance. As the child matures, the color may deepen to a dark red or purplish color. In adulthood, thickening of the lesion or the development of small lumps may occur.

Occurring in about 3 out of every 1000 newborns, PWS present as pink, red or purple, generally flat and often misshapen discoloration on an otherwise normal skin. Depending on the size and location of the PWS, the most common treatment is laser. Lasers, if used properly, and with the appropriate wavelength, can give effective results without downtime.

Lighter port wine stains or pink based port wine stains tend to respond well to visible light wavelengths such as  BroadBand Light (BBL), and pulsed dye lasers. It is suggested to start treatment as early as two months of age and up to 8-10 treatments should provide for best results. Certainly, an adult can treat successfully as well, depending on the colour and location of the PWS, but treating early increases efficacy as well as alleviating social stress to the patient if the PWS is visible on the face or neck.

Vascular lesions, caused by enlarged or broken blood vessels, can take many forms all over the body — from rosacea and port wine stains to spider veins and birthmarks. Vascular lesions usually do not go away on their own, which is why many patients are seeking treatment options.

Indications

  • Telangiectasia
  • Reticular & Spider Veins
  • Matting, Bruising
  • Rosacea
  • Port Wine Stains
  • Cherry Hemangioma
  • Hemangioma
  • Venous Lake, Vascular Malformation

Product solution for these vascular indications include BBL Photorejuvenation

As a rough guide, 90% of patients can expect improvement with laser treatment. The earlier the treatment, the better the clearance rate.

  • 10-20% will experience complete clearance
  • 80% will have at least a 50% improvement with laser
  • 10% will have no response to laser treatment

In all cases, multiple laser treatments are required  (6-15) over a course of months to years.

Methods we use to treat

Broadband light technology generates broad-spectrum light waves that penetrate deeply into the lower layers of your skin. The light is changed to heat energy as it reaches beneath the surface of the skin. As this special type of light saturates the epidermis, chemicals in your skin change light energy to beneficial heat energy that immediately begins repairing damaged skin by stimulating collagen production. Collagen is a protein-rich, structural compound necessary for supporting all your body’s tissues. It is also essential for providing firmness, suppleness and strength to your facial skin. Skin naturally produces less and less collagen as we age, a major contributing factor to wrinkling, sagging, dryness, and unattractive spider veins.
Laser tattoo removal is a simple procedure that uses a special laser (a high-intensity beam of light) to safely remove tattoos that a person no longer wants. The darker, contrasting colors used in a tattoo absorb the wavelengths of the laser, effectively breaking its colors into fragments, while protecting the surrounding skin, which doesn’t absorb the laser due to the contrast differences. Throughout treatments, your tattoo gets progressively light and lighter until it eventually disappears altogether. Mild discomfort should be expected, though far less discomfort than was experienced in getting the tattoo.

Products & Treatments we offer

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