Approximately three out of every 1,000 children are born with a port-wine stain. A port-wine stain is a birthmark that often starts out looking pink at birth and generally becomes darker (usually reddish-purple or dark red) as the baby grows.
Port-wine stains (also known as nevus flammeus) can be anywhere on the body but are most commonly found on the face, neck, scalp, arms, or legs. They can be any size and usually grow in proportion with the child. They often change in texture over time; early on, the port-wine stain is smooth and flat, but it may thicken and feel like pebbles under the skin during adulthood.
For most children, port-wine stains are just part of who they are, and nothing needs to be done. However, some port-wine stains get darker and can become disfiguring and embarrassing, especially if they are on the face. Particularly during the already challenging pre-teen and teen years, port-wine stains can often make the child feel self-conscious- like he “stands out” when he just wants to blend in with his peers.
Although port-wine stains do not go away on their own, they can be treated and lightened through laser treatments. Laser treatment is often started in infancy, when the stain and the blood vessels are smaller, and the birthmark is much easier to treat. However, this treatment can be started at any age; the older the person the harder it may be to lighten the stain and achieve the desired results.
At our Clear Dermatology & Aesthetics Center in North Scottsdale, we offer the V-Beam Perfecta "pulsed-dye" laser. If you would like to schedule a consultation, please schedule an appointment with one of our specially-trained providers today.