I Hate My Port Wine Stain Birthmark! - Lutz, FL

So I love RealSelf so much, I decided to document...

So I love RealSelf so much, I decided to document a procedure I had in the past and my contraction of that process in the present.

Some info about me: I'm 37 years old, divorced, 2 beautiful children, and a full time student. I also have a birthmark which I absolutely hate!! I was born with a port wine stain on my face. The red birthmark covers my right eyelid and extends about an inch over my right eyebrow.

It was 6th grade middle school when someone openly said something mean to me about my birthmark. I've been wearing makeup every single day since then to hide it. I wore bangs from then on also to disguise the fact that I wore gobs of makeup on my forehead. I only stopped wearing bangs a few years ago because after 20 years of putting on makeup, I've learned to art of blending and making it look natural (well at the very least a natural amount if makeup coverage).

I remember when I was about 16, I told my mom that I wanted it removed. She took me to our family doctor. I asked him if there was anything we can do to have it removed. At that time he said there wasn't. I was crushed but what could I do.

It wasn't until I was about 27 that I decided to see if there had been any advancements in the removal of port wine stain birthmarks. I found a plastic surgeon in my area who performed laser treatments to remove port wine stain birthmarks. He also did laser treatments to remove tattoos and I had one I wanted gone. Both procedures combined totaled $150 per session. After 3 sessions, my tattoo was pretty much gone but my birthmark was not. I decided not to go back because the recovery for me was not worth it. The laser used then was the Pulse Dye Laser and it left my forehead all scabby for several weeks. The scabbiness made it difficult to camouflage with makeup. So I went back to just hiding it with make up.

Fast forward 10 years.....

I woke up yesterday (day of treatment) and decided I wanted to see how much further advanced technology has progressed to get rid of my birthmark. I stumble upon the V-Beam Pulse Dye Laser that would cause the scabbing I previously experienced. I search for local doctors with that laser technology and to my surprise the laser treatment center I found was literally 5 minutes from my house. I drove there and found a lick door and a dark lobby. I called the office and found out they only came to this particular office every other Monday.

I explained to the young lady on the phone what I was looking to get done and she advised me that they only use the V-Beam at their main location. I asked to schedule a consult. Luckily they had one that day so I drove the hour (yes one full hour!!) to the other office.

I was seen by two aides (one was in training and shadowing the other) who asked me a few questions about what I wanted done and they gave me some information about the procedure to read while I waited for the PA (physician's assistant who performs the laser treatments). The aides returned and asked me to remove my makeup. Thankfully I came prepared with makeup remover wipes and makeup to reapply after. (Remember, I don't leave my house without makeup on my face-EVER!!)

So makeup is off and the PA comes in. We discuss what I want and she tells me due to my skin pigmentation (I'm tan/light brown colored) the laser may leave dark impressions on my skin that may take several weeks or moths to fade. I was surprised. She compared the dark impressions to how a pimple or cut might heal on my skin. I told her that I have none of those issues.

Regardless, she said she would do a test area to see how my skin reacts. I was like great. She came back with my quote ($75 for forehead and $75 for eyelid). I wasn't sure if I wanted to do my eyelids because she said I would need to wear a metal eye shield. (Omg!!! Can you imagine how that would feel?) numbing eye drops would be used to numb the eye so I wouldn't feel any pain. Once the consult was over I thought I was only going to get a test area done.

The two aides returned and said the PA can do the procedure right then. I jumped on it!! I'm so ready to get this thing off of my face!! Can you imagine going to the beach or pool with makeup on and never putting your head in the water?? Yeah.... That's what I've been doing for the last 20 years. I would love to be able to just wake up, wash my face, and be ready.

Anywho, I'm already in the procedure room so the aides recline my chair into the horizontal position and raise it to about chest height (I know this because I jumped down after they left to get my phone and it took at least 5 tries for me to get back on there, I was cracking up). So I'm laying back and 2 drops of numbing stuff are placed in my right eye. When the PA came in she lubricates the metal eye shield before inserting into my eye. It was not painful at all, nor uncomfortable. The other eye was covered with gauze and plastic eye covers (like the kind you wear in a tanning salon).

Then the laser treatment began. The documentation stated it would feel like a rubber and pop and from my recollection, my previous laser treatment was Very painful. So I braced for the pain. She started and it barely hurt. I don't know who was popping rubber bands on whoever wrote the procedure document, but I know what a rubber band pop feels like and it usually hurts. The laser was very mild, no pain at all until she got to the crease in my eyelid and even that pain was slight.

The entire procedure took less than 15 minutes (literally - I checked the click when she came in and was done). I asked again if it would scab and she told me no. She said it would turn dark purple immediately and that would last about two weeks. Before the procedure she said that my eyelid may swell, but immediately after it hadn't, however I did notice the birthmark was darker.

I asked if I can put makeup on and she said yes, I can put it on immediately if I wanted. (Of course I did!) I put my make up on, paid, made a follow up appointment for 8 weeks out (ideally I would've been seen 6 weeks after but I'm going to be unavailable because I'm getting a Brazilian Butt Lift (Double yay!!).

I'm home now and can barely tell that I've had the procedure done. I feel a tinge of something (I wouldn't describe it as pain but that's the only thing I can think of) but that's it. My makeup camouflage covered it when I left the office. I haven't looked to see if the birthmark has gotten darker and can be seen through my makeup but I'll check it later.

I'm hopeful for fabulous results... I'm also hopeful I won't need more laser treatments.... But we'll see. I'll keep you guys updated with my progress :)

Until my next update...

Actual Day After Treatment Update...

This one will be short.

I haven't noticed any change at all in the color of my birthmark. The Physician's Assistant said it would turn a deep purple color. It looks exactly the same as yesterday. Hmmmmm......

Did she penetrate my skin deep enough for the laser to cause the blood vessels beneath my skin to explode? It doesn't seem so thus far. I know it's only been a day but the deep purple color indicates bruising which means the blood vessels were destroyed and then be absorbed by my body (which means no more red birthmark). -Phew I had to take a breath from just typing that. Lol

Day 2 update.... Still no deep purple color

Well there hasn't been any change in the color if my birthmark. The deep purple color it should have turned by now has not appeared.

Anywho. Enjoy your day peeps :)

Still no change, thus no real update...

I haven't noticed any change as yet. But I decided to show you what my forehead looks like when it's covered with makeup to disguise my birthmark.

For any of you that are interested, I use Revlon products. The 24-hour coverage foundation to cover the birthmark. I apply it over my entire face so the color and coverage are uniform throughout. I wait a few minutes for the foundation to dry (this is when I apply eyeshadow then brush my teeth). Then I apply powder to set the foundation. I brush my eyebrows clean and fill the with a brow pencil to darken them back up.

That's pretty much it. I've been doing this for years so I know to keep several shades of foundation and powder on hand (lighter for winter and darker for summer).

I hope I will be able to see some actual results soon.

Until next time. Take care.

Update ... but still no change (IMO)

Decided to snap a pic today before I put my makeup on. I still do not see a change.

Another progress pic....

I was so consumed with my bbl - which by the way I'm sooooo happy I did!! I'm living the results and I'm only 3 weeks po.

Anyway here's a pic from dec 5.

The pic didn't load.....

Trying again...
Kristine Poyner, P.A., Suncoast Skin Solutions

Kristine was kind and informative. The Lutz facility was beautiful in design and decor. I'm not certain if I will need another treatment as yet.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
4 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
4 out of 5 stars Wait times
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Comments (17)

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I have a port wine stain that covers my left side from ear to lip - inside lip and down below my chin to my neck. I go to Albert J.Nemeth M.D. 3165 N. McMullen Booth Road, Suite C-2 Clearwater, FL 33761 727-799-5273 and it is covered by my blue cross blue sheild insurance. The doctor is one of the leading edge specialist in the field . He help develop the laser. My treatment if i paid for it myself would be $2000 per treatment due to the size. My insurance treats it as an office visit so it cost me my $35 co pay. Definitely the person i would recommend. I fly in from out of town just to see him. I have no side effects - blistering ect . he puts on a topical numbing so i don't even feel the laser zaps .
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Hi Smith, Dushi and all; I am so surprised to find this site. I am 62 this month and have had a birthmark on right eyelid, forehead and part of my scalp all my life. I must say I do sympathize with all of you because I have always wanted mine to disappear as It certainly has bee a burden and an embarrassment. I also have learned the power of makeup but I still know its there and sometime think people are staring at my birthmark instead of my eyes. I have had two different laser treatments. The first was when I was about 29 and it was the Blue Ray, it did nothing but hurt. The second try was about 9 session of the pulse laser in Ft. Lauderdale and I only saw a minimal change. Boy would I like it to be totally gone as when you get older, like myself, you don't want to have the 10-15 minute makeup cover-up. If Albert J. Nemeth, M.D. works please let me know by contacting me directly at Sassygirldd@aol.com. , I am looking for results. Thanks to all of you for your courage it strengthens me.
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Dear smith898, I have a birthmark around my eye the size of a quarter, I believe it's called nevu of ota anyway does ur dermatologist do laser removal for that type of birthmark ?
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I am not familiar with that type - mine is a port wine stain. I do know he is a professional and not some one in an office that does not know what they are doing. If he does not do them he would be able to recommend someone that does. --- I have been going on and off - as insurance allows for some time now - I am very happy with the results.
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Hi Dushi, Thanks for documeting this. This will inspire me to think that my birthmark can be removed as well. By the way, i see improvement on your birthmark. Keep us informed. I've been in laser treatment as well, but it only lighten my birthmark. I wish it would disappear forever and ever.. my birthmark is on my left leg can you imagine me wearing "pants" in a summer days and swim :( its so depressing.. I really want to wear shorts or bikini in a beach but i couldn't because of my embarassing birthmark :(
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I also have a birthmark (same as Jannadz has) and am currently in the process of laser treatment. I can totally understand how it feels to apply makeup each time you need to leave the house, to avoid water (although I use waterproof wakeup when in pool/ocean;), to avoid having roommates so strangers can't see you without your makeup on, to avoid overnight hiking activities because there is no way for you to safely remove and reapply makeup, etc etc etc. I just would like to encourage you ladies to not view this whole condition as "horrible". If you think about that, there are so many issues that people may have to live with while others may not even know what they're going through, and many of these issues are so much worse than the birthmark. How about people who have diabetes? They have to monitor their blood sugar levels several times per day and follow a special diet; otherwise, they may get very sick or even die. How about people with physical impairments who are limited in certain important functions and activities (and there is no makeup that can save them)? Finally, our family and friends love us no matter with or without the birthmark, and strangers don't even know that we have one because we look "typical" for the society with makeup on. How about the people who cannot hide their facial differences with makeup and have to deal with stares/comments/social rejection from ignorant strangers on the constant basis. I personally would not call even those conditions "horrible" because people can still live a happy life even then. I feel it is just discouraging to hear that your condition is so "horrible and terrible". Come on, it is not! Honestly, you know what I personally hope for? It looks like the society is starting to widen its definition of beauty. Thankfully, there are so many beautiful women of various ethnicities, body types, and with diverse facial features who are being recognized for their beauty. I hope that some day, there appears a model with a birthmark, so that everyone looks at her and thinks that birthmarks can be unique and beautiful. Like Angeline Jolie proved to the whole world that full lips are beautiful:)
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What type of waterproof makeup do you use?? I have an Angel Kiss Birthmark on my forehead (Stork Bite).. I am thinking of getting it removed.
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Hi diana, I also have a birthmark on my forehead & have always wanted it removed. My knowledge is minimal if I forward you an image could you please help me identify the type of birthmark please. Thankyou.
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Hi Diana, I also have a birthmark on my forehead & have always wanted it removed. My knowledge of birthmarks is minimal if I forward you an image could you please help me identify the type of birthmark?... Thankyou.
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I definitely see a change hun. Sometimes when we don't see exactly what we're looking to see we really don't see at all. Put your 1st pic next to the last pic and immediately you'll see the differences in contrast as well as a minimization of the affected area. Keep your chin up girlie.
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Thanks buttcrazed! ;) that's why I tried to keep the pics regular. I got a little side tracked with my bbl and forgot to keep this review up. I think 2 or 3 more treatments will remove it enough for be to feel comfortable without makeup on.
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That's the spirit doll! Positivity ;-)
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Let me know how it goes. My birthmark covers my right eye, right side of my nose, eyelid, cheek, under my nose, and my lip. I'm 47 and would love to forget makeup. I'm so tired of the 15-20 minutes of applying makeup just to go outside. I never swim or do anything that makes me sweat. Its a horrible life to lead. If you want a picture to see it.....jannadz@yahoo.com
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I feel the same way about the process just to go check the mail. I've gotten better as I've gotten older but I still cover with make up.
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Thanks for documenting your progress. Sorry if I missed it, but did she say how long it would be before you saw results?

*Thinking happy, birthmark-free thoughts for you. :)* Please keep us updated!

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Hi Sharon, I was told not to expect to see any results until 6-8 weeks after the laser treatment. As of today (oct18), I'm only at the 1 & 1/2 week mark. I still have a ways to go before I can expect to see anything. Hopefully I do, if not I'll get a second treatment. Thanks for the well wishes :)
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Oh good! Thanks for clarifying. :)

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