The best way to treat a port wine stain is with a pulsed dye laser. This type of laser specifically targets the red pigment of the blood, targeting the stain and not the skin.
Depending on the size and location of the port wine stain, you may need multiple treatments and you may be able to get close to 100% resolution.
This laser if commonly called the V BEam and is one of the best ways to treat flat birthmarks....
You may require anywhere between 4-12 sessions, depending on the location, size, and skin colour. Some PWS (port wine stain birthmarks) fade more quickly than others. At Westside Dermatology, we often combine different lasers for different port wine stains, including a v beam , 755 alex or long pulse 1064 Nd Yag for blebs and thicker lesions
Hope that helps, regardsDr Davin LimDermatologist, Cosmetic and Laser Brisbane, AUSTRALIA
Thank you for your question. There are various ways to remove birthmarks, depending on its etiology. For example, a birthmark caused due to a vascular problem needs a completely different treatment than a birthmark such as a mole. More often than not, vascular birthmarks need to have some form of laser treatment. They can require more, but a laser is generally a minimum. Other birthmarks such as a mole, can be excised in the office with relative ease. The size and location will determine the final outcome. A photograph always helps but there is no substitute for and in person physical examination. Make sure you visit with a board certified plastic surgeon for the best outcomes.
The best way to remove this type of birthmark is a pulsed dye laser. This type of laser targets the red pigment of the blood, targeting the stain and not the skin.
The pulsed dyle laser, PDL, is the most recommended to treat this vascular malformation that can occur anywhere on the body. The most frequent site prompting clinical treatment is along any of three facial distributions. The number of treatments range from 1-several depending on the composition of each individual lesion as there are a variety of depths that these anomalous vessels may be located. Average treatment sessions required in my experience are 3-5. Patient discomfort can be improved by using topical anesthesia and the clinical results well balance the discomfort experienced during the procedure. Topical cryogen is now used in most technologies allowing for greater comfort and tolerability.
The pulsed dye laser is generally regarded as the most effective laser to remove these difficult birthmarks. Other lasers which can be used are intense pulsed light devices (IPL), KTP, Nd:YAG. Generally, 7 - 8 treatments are needed to get about 75 - 80% fading of the port wine stain. The closer the port wine stain is to the heart the better the treatment usually is. For example, face PWS have a better response than those on the arms or legs. I recommend using a cooling device with the laser to minimize pain and complications. Cooling protects the epidermis (top layer of the skin) and allows the laser to be used more effectively. After treatment, the port wine stain will turn dark purple for 7 - 10 days. It is important to avoid sun exposure before and after the treatments. You need to wait until all bruising is resolved before repeating the laser.
Each laser wavelength targets a specific chromophore. For vascular birthmarks, we use a laser known as pulse-dye to target the red color in blood. This effectively removes the vascular birthmark. Although, the depth of the birthmark may be superficial or deep, the majority of these lesions can be removed with multiple sessions.