While most birthmarks are not harmful to your health, they can be bothersome to those who live with them, especially if they are large or are located in a visible area of the body. At Pinnacle Dermatology & Skin Rejuvenation, we offer laser treatment to fade the appearance of birthmarks and pigmented lesions to help you feel more confident. Our state-of-the-art laser treatments are designed to specifically target unwanted melanin stores in the skin without harming surrounding tissues for optimal results.
What are Birthmarks?
Birthmarks, which are a type of pigmented lesion, are spots or growths on the skin that are caused by melanocyte cells (which produce melanin) in the skin. They are present at birth.
There are two main types of birthmarks, including:
Vascular Birthmarks: Are comprised of blood vessels that have not formed correctly (example: port-wine stains or hemangiomas).
Pigmented Birthmarks: Are made of clusters of pigmented cells, and can appear tan, brown, gray, black, or blue (example: moles).
What are Pigmented Lesions?
While a birthmark is a type of pigmented lesion, there are other forms as well. While some people are born with pigmented lesions, others develop them over time. Certain medications or sun exposure can also cause them.
Common examples of pigmented lesions include:
- Age spots.
Birthmark Treatment Options
At Pinnacle Dermatology & Skin Rejuvenation, we offer laser treatment to fade the appearance of your birthmarks or pigmented lesions. It works by using light energy to target pigment in the skin, which absorbs the light, destroying the pigment. These pigmented cells are then flushed away by the body to reveal more normal looking skin. It is important to note that these laser treatments cannot be used to remove cancerous lesions. If you are concerned regarding a cancerous lesion, Dr. Gray will be happy to discuss the available options with you.
During your treatment session, your skin will be cleansed and the laser used to emit short pulses of light to the targeted area. Many people describe the laser pulses as feeling like small rubber band snaps. Because the laser was designed to specifically target dark areas of melanin, you do not have to worry about damage to the surrounding skin. The length of your procedure will depend on the size of the lesion being treated. Many individuals require multiple treatment sessions in order to see optimal outcomes.
Following treatment, you may experience temporary redness or swelling, which should dissipate within 2-4 weeks. Some people may have pinpoint bleeding following laser treatment, in which case an antibacterial ointment and bandaging will be applied. Be sure to follow Dr. Gray’s specific post-treatment instructions in order to ensure the best possible results. Over the course of your treatment sessions, you will begin to enjoy a lightening of your lesions.