Birthmark Removal Recovery for a 12 Year Old?

My twelve year old daughter would like to have the cafe au lait birthmark removed from her chin (if possible). She's becoming more self-conscious about it and I was wondering what the recovering experience (scabbing, etc) is like if we proceed. We are wondering if we should we wait until school is out to avoid exposure to the sun?

Doctor Answers 4

Removal would depend on size- see video

Laser can certainly help CALM cafe au lait macules, however recurrence can be seen in 30-50%. Additionally not all CALMS respond to Q switch laser. If the lesion is small, consider surgery under GA by a plastic surgeon. Then laser to help improve the scarring. 

If you do proceed with laser, sun exposure must be avoided for upto 3 weeks, and she may require up to 5 treatments. 


Dr Davin Lim 
Laser Dermatologist
BRISBANE, Australia

Brisbane Dermatologist
4.7 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

Apply sunblock to get best healing

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.

Raj S. Ambay, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Birthmark Sun Protection

As long as you apply sun block to the treated area and avoid long term sun exposure the area should heal properly. Make sure that you use a product with the high SPF factor.



Edward E. Dickerson, IV, MD
Fayetteville Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 118 reviews

Birthmark removal in a tween

Sutures will remain in place for 5-7 days after which normal activities can be resumed although I would advise you that a child should not participate in sports for several weeks. This can be a concern if she is headed to day or sleep away camp. The area should be generously treated with sunscreen to avoid damage to the scar. Generally, I perform these surgeries on the kids on Fridays so they can return to school on Monday with the least interference with their activities.

Robert L. Kraft, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.