Can my Birth Mark Be Removed?

If you look at my picture, you can see what it looks like. Its on my cheek and it's blueish purple.

Doctor Answers 5

Vascular birthmarks

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Hi Mellissa, 

The most important first step in treating a birthmark is a correct diagnosis. The blueish color of your birthmark is suggestive of something called a venous malformation but it is impossible to tell from the photograph what the exact diagnosis is. Many vascular birthmarks are treatable without surgery and lasers are highly effective in many cases. I recommend finding a vascular birthmark center near where you live to help you.


Mehdi Sina, MD

New York Facial Plastic Surgeon

Large birthmarks should have in person evaluation

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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.


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My advice would be to see a dermatologist or plastic surgeon with extensive experience in laser removal of this type of vascular lesion. I was associated with an excellent dermatologist who perfromed nearly magical work with lesions such as yours.

A test spot should be performed first to ensure that the laser being used (usually a pulse dye) is the appropriate one for you. Also, the proper fluence must be assessed and that you heal well.

Good luck.

Arnold R. Oppenheim, MD
Virginia Beach Dermatologist

Test patch is often a good idea

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I agree that the laser may be an effective way to treat your birthmark. My suggestion would be, however, to do a test patch before treating the whole lesion. Often with larger lesions I'll do a small area and watch it for a month. If it works great, if not, we're not looking at much more invasive and costly repair work.

Robert Frank, MD
Munster Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Facial Birthmark

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There are different techniques that may be able to remove your "birthmark" which appears to be vascular in origin. There are certain lasers that may be very beneficial and there are surgical techniques to expand the skin and surgically remove the birthmark with limited scarring. You should discuss the pros and cons of each with your surgeon and state what your goals and desires are so that he/she can develop a plan for you. Don't tush into this since you have had it for so long and I would suggest getting at least two opinions.

Theodore Katz, MD, FACS
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon

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.