Understanding Your Child’s Port Wine Stain

  Filed under: Birthmarks, Pediatric Surgery

Los Angeles CA Birthmark Removal DoctorsAbout 3 out of every 1,000 kids are born with a port wine stain. Since these birthmarks are frequently found on visible parts of the body and can become more prominent as the child grows, port wine stains can be a source of significant peer ridicule and low self-esteem for many patients. If your child was born with a port wine stain, here are answers to some common questions surrounding this type of birthmark.

What are port wine stains?
Port wine stains (also known as nevus flammeus) are vascular birthmarks that can appear anywhere on the body, but they most commonly are found on the face, neck, scalp, arms, or legs. They can vary in color from a pale pink to a deep purple color. Port wine stains are often a cosmetic concern.

Will it change over time?
Yes, port wine stains usually grow in proportion with a child. They can also change in texture. At the beginning, it may be smooth and flat, yet it can thicken and feel like pebbles under the skin during adulthood. Port wine stains usually darken in color over time as well.

What causes port wine stains?
Rest assured that there is no way to prevent a port wine stain, and it was nothing that the mother did or didn’t do during pregnancy. Port wine stains form when an area of skin doesn’t get any (or enough) supply of nerve fibers, which is what keeps our blood vessels narrow. This causes small blood vessels to keep expanding much larger than they normally would. This increased blood flow amount creates a stained appearance on the skin.

Are port wine stains ever more than a cosmetic concern?
In the majority of cases, port wine stains harmless and painless. However, they can rarely be a sign of other medical conditions. For example, port wine stains on or near the eye or on the forehead may be associated a neurological disorder called Sturge-Weber Syndrome. In addition, port wine stains on the eyelids can lead to glaucoma. In such cases, the birthmark should be closely monitored and/or treated.

Can port wine stains be removed?
Yes! When a port wine stain has taken its toil on a patient’s self-esteem and quality of life, removal is an excellent option. Dr. Talei is a dual board certified facial plastic surgeon with distinguished expertise in vascular birthmarks. Port wine stains can be successfully treated and greatly diminished through cutting edge laser therapy treatments. These laser treatments must be given in a series over a period of time, but they can dramatically improve the look of the birthmark. Dr. Talei prefers to treat port wine stains as early as possible. In infants and children, the skin responds more quickly to the treatments, yielding the best results. However, treatments can successfully be made in adults too. Dr. Talei can also remove port wine stains using surgical excision and facial reconstruction techniques. Rest assured that he delivers exceptional results in birthmark removal, regardless of the severity and location of your child’s port wine stain.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Ben Talei
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Beverly Hills Center for Plastic & Laser Surgery
120 S Spalding Dr, #236
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
Phone: (310) 288-0641

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