The world of cosmetic dermatology touches patients of all ages. When pediatric skin issues like vascular birthmarks come up, it's important to know when they require treatment and how they're typically removed. Here, we'll talk about pediatric vascular birthmarks and how they're treated.
Every day, an estimated one in 10 children is born with some type of vascular anomaly, also known as a vascular birthmark. While many of these birthmarks are minor and easy to live with, roughly 60% of all children with a vascular birthmark will require medical treatment for it. A vascular birthmark, or vascular malformation, is a benign lesion on the skin. These lesions are present from birth and will typically grow with children as they age. There are a few different types of vascular birthmarks that appear on the skin, which include:
Port Wine Stain Malformations
It's currently unknown whether there are specific causes or risk factors associated with the formation of vascular birthmarks, but there are plenty of treatment options available. Let's review.
Steroid treatment is one of the most common treatments for vascular birthmarks. When steroid treatment is prescribed, the child will be given an oral dosage or an injection. Steroids work to treat birthmarks by shrinking the blood vessels in and around the birthmark, which can help decrease its appearance on the skin. This treatment is most effective for smaller pediatric vascular birthmarks and birthmarks that are only affecting the upper layers of a child's skin.
Laser treatments are one of the most common cosmetic dermatology services out there. This treatment option is similar to the procedure for laser stretch mark removal or laser mole removal. During a laser removal treatment, a dermatologist will utilize a laser to send light into the birthmark. As the treatment is administered, the light heats and destroys malformed blood vessels that are causing the birthmark. This is an excellent treatment option because it doesn't harm any of the skin around the birthmark. Your child may be left with some irritation that looks like a dry skin rash for a day or two after the procedure.
If your child is dealing with a birthmark that's more than skin-deep or that steroids haven't been able to successfully treat, it's possible to invest in surgical removal as a treatment plan. During a surgical removal, a doctor will remove all of the tissue that makes up the birthmark in question. This procedure is often used in combination with other therapies if they have been able to partially treat the lesion. It's also possible to use surgical treatment to reconstruct areas that have been disfigured by the lesion. In most cases, surgical treatment is a last resort for vascular birthmarks.
If your child is struggling with a pediatric vascular birthmark and you're not sure what steps you need to take next, don't hesitate to set up a consultation with our team at North Pacific Dermatology today.