Birthmark Removal

Birthmark removal, At A Glance

  • Best Results1-10+ Treatments
  • Treatment Recovery4 - 8 days
  • Procedure Time5 to 30 minutes
  • Skin SpecialistDavin Lim, Dermatologist
  • Duration of ResultsVariable - years
  • AnaestheticNumbing, Sedation, Gas
  • Back to WorkVariable
  • Cost$$ Medicare rebate applies

Birthmark Removal

There are over 150 different types of birthmarks. Some respond well to laser therapy, others are best treated with surgery. The ideal treatment will depend on the diagnosis. 90% of red birthmarks can be markedly reduced with laser treatment.

FactsFacts on Birthmark Removal

  • Birthmarks can occur at the time of birth or delayed (tardive)
  • Some birthmarks increase during puberty
  • There are over 150 types of birthmarks
  • Some do well with lasers, others respond better to surgery
  • Becker’s naevi are one of the harder birthmarks to treat
  • Diagnosis is essential as this will dictate treatment options
  • Consult a medical dermatologist for a firm diagnosis

What treatments are there for birthmarks?

Depending on the diagnosis, lasers including vascular, Q switched, & pico lasers can fade red & brown birthmarks. Deeper birthmarks including moles are best treated with surgery.

Not all birthmarks can be treated effectively, if you have a Becker’s naevus, chances are it cannot be removed. The very first step in the management of birthmarks is a diagnosis.

What is the best treatment for mole – like birthmarks?

This type of birthmark has ‘roots’ that extend into the deep dermis, and often into the fatty layer of skin. These nests of pigment cells are out of the reach of lasers. Surgical options give the best prognosis.

I do not laser moles, the primary reason is that I cannot predict the recurrence rate. Additionally, pseudomelanoma changes can occur. Google this & you will understand the risks.

What is a Becker’s Naevus & can it be treated?

Becker or Becker’s naevi are very common birthmarks. They appear lighter in childhood, and typically increase in colour, texture & hair growth around puberty. This birthmark contains many elements of skin, including smooth muscle, hair, oil glands, melanin (pigment) & skin cells. This birthmark extends deep into the dermal and fat layer. Becker’s naevi are also very large (most often the size of several hands).

Unfortunately, all treatments to date have been unsuccessful in removing this type of birthmark. Surgery can be considered for very small lesions.

What are sebaceous naevi?

This birthmark is essentially a group of oil glands, as well as other structures found in skin. They generally occupy facial or scalp areas. With hormonal changes associated with puberty, they increase in size. Acne like lesions are not uncommon.

This type of birthmark can be associated with milder forms of skin cancer, including basal cell cancers. The lifetime risk is around 5%. Ideally, you should be followed up by your medical dermatologist with serial photography.

My favoured treatment for this birthmark is excision. Occasionally I do employ CO2 lasers to debulk the birthmark.

Davin’s Viewpoint on Treating Birthmarks

Birthmarks are very common, occurring in 1 in 3 births. They range from common ‘brown macules or Café Au Lait Macules’ & stork bite birthmarks, to extensive port wine stains & melanocytic naevi.

Almost any organelle in the skin can differentiate to give a birthmark, these include-

  • Pigment cells or melanocytes, to give melanocytic birthmarks including congenital naevi & café au lait macules.
  • Blood vessels to give port wine stains, stork marks, essential telangiectasia, agminate spider naevi.
  • Smooth muscles to give harmatomas, Becker’s.
  • Collagen & elastin, namely collagenomas & elastomas.
  • Sebaceous gland to give acneiform lesions, sebaceous naevi, segmental acne
  • Nerve cells to give neurofibromas
  • Epidermal cells or keratinocytes to give epidermal naevi

Some birthmarks are associated with syndromes. Most birthmarks do not have any associations. Before you seek treatment, a diagnosis is necessary, consult a medical dermatologist for a real time physical examination.

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