Birthmarks are colored, texturally irregular skin markings that are present at birth, but can also develop later on in life. Although usually harmless, birthmarks can have a negative impact on a person’s confidence and self-image, especially when they develop on the face. Laser birthmark removal is a safe and effective way to remedy this – and at New York Laser & Skin Care, we’re committed to bringing you only the most advanced, clinically proven laser treatments on the market.
Find us on Fifth Avenue in New York City, NY, and take advantage of our comfortable facilities, dedicated, compassionate staff, and world-class tools and techniques. Schedule a consultation with us to find out how we can help you eliminate your unwanted birthmarks and achieve that clear, even complexion you’ve been hoping for.
Treatment for Vascular Birthmarks
Vascular birthmarks develop due to the presence of malformed or overly dilated blood vessels beneath the surface of the skin. They are red, pink or purple in color, and generally develop either before birth or within the first few days of an infant’s life.
We use pulsed dye laser treatments to address vascular birthmarks. Pulsed dye laser devices work by channeling laser pulses through a colored dye solution, which alters the wavelength of the laser’s light and allows it to better target the red pigment that accompanies these birthmarks.
We treat two types of vascular birthmarks at our clinic: hemangiomas and port wine stains. A faint scar will typically be left behind after treating either.
Hemangiomas, sometimes called strawberry marks, are small, bumpy, bright red birthmarks that are soft and rubbery to the touch. They are essentially lumps of malformed, closely packed blood vessels. They tend to develop during the first few weeks of an infant’s life, and often disappear naturally before adolescence, leaving only a small patch of loose skin behind.
Laser procedures are the best treatment solution for hemangiomas. They can also be used to clear away residual dark pigment and improve skin texture after a hemangioma has healed naturally.
Port wine stains
Port wine stains are red or purple birthmarks that typically cover a wide area of skin. They usually appear on one side of the face and neck, but can also develop on the chest, stomach, arms or legs. They are the result of overly dilated capillaries in the skin’s underlying tissues, which cause blood to collect beneath the skin’s surface.
Pulsed dye lasers are by far the best treatment method available for port wine stains. The laser’s heat works to shrink abnormal blood vessels, which prevents blood from collecting beneath the skin and causes the stain to fade with time.
Treatment for Pigmented Birthmarks
Pigmented birthmarks are generally brown, blue or gray patches of skin and are typically present at birth.
We usually treat pigmented birthmarks with Q-switched lasers which are characterized by extremely brief pulses that may last as little as a billionth of a second. These lasers target and destroy the pigment clusters in birthmarks, breaking them into minute particles that are naturally cleared away by your body.
Our clinic treats three types of pigmented birthmarks: Becker’s nevi, café au lait spots and nevi of Ota.
A Becker’s nevus, also sometimes called a Becker melanosis, is a dark pigmented birthmark characterized by thick, lumpy skin and dense hair growth. These types of birthmarks present during late childhood and develop most commonly on the shoulders or upper back.
Becker’s nevi are triggered by fluctuations in androgen levels and are most common in males. They will typically darken and produce rapid hair growth after puberty.
Unlike most birthmarks, Becker’s nevi cannot be fully eliminated with laser surgery. However, we can use laser treatments to effectively remove the hair and—in some cases—reduce the pigmentation.
Café au lait spots
Café au lait spots are round, brownish birthmarks with sharply defined borders that develop most commonly on people with darker skin tones. They are usually present at birth, but may darken throughout early infancy as a result of regular sun exposure. Café au lait spots are the second most common type of birthmark we treat at our clinic.
These spots respond well to a range of laser treatment modalities, including both Q-switched and pulsed dye lasers.
Nevus of Ota
A nevus of Ota is a blue or brown birthmark that appears around one eye, which develops either before birth or during adolescence. The white of the affected eye and sometimes the iris may have blue or brown spots as well. This is by far the most common type of birthmark that we treat at our practice.
Nevi of Ota are much more common in females than in males, and develop most frequently among people of Asian or African ancestry. They can be corrected with laser procedures designed to target hyperpigmentation.
Why Choose Us for Birthmark Removal?
Our founder and director, Dr. Arielle Kauvar, is a world-renowned expert on the treatment of birthmarks using laser technology. She received the Best Clinical Research Award from the American Society for Laser Surgery and Medicine for her research on the treatment of port wine stains.
Under her guidance, our team has been treating birthmarks for nearly two decades, and helped thousands of patients achieve a more even complexion and a new-found confidence. Choose us for your birthmark treatment procedure and you can expect exceptional care in the following ways:
- Board-certified, award-winning director with extensive expertise in treating birthmarks
- Highly qualified staff comprised of registered nurses and certified physician assistants
- Beautiful, comfortable facilities with state-of-the-art tools and equipment
- A wide and varied selection of some of the most advanced laser treatments available
Before and After Photos
This photo gallery does not guarantee that all those who undergo birthmark removal will obtain these or similar results.
For the first 24 hours after your birthmark removal procedure, you may experience redness, swelling, bruising, discomfort and temporary skin discoloration in your treatment area. These effects are normal and should not be cause for concern.
The skin around the treatment area will likely peel and scab as it heals. Avoid touching your skin during this period, and keep it clean to help prevent infection. Avoid sun exposure as the area will be particularly vulnerable to damage. Your skin should be fully healed after about a week, at which point the final results of the procedure will become apparent.
The results of a birthmark removal procedure are permanent. However, it will take a number of treatments for a birthmark to fully disappear – and some birthmarks cannot be fully eliminated.
Book Your Consultation
If your birthmark is impacting your quality of life, and you are ready to make a positive change, our team of compassionate, expertly trained staff are ready to welcome you at our center. Book a consultation with us today, and let’s get started on a treatment plan that meets your goals.
Are birthmarks cause for concern?
Birthmarks are almost always harmless and pose no threat to a person’s health. However, very rarely, they can become ulcerated and painful. Birthmarks that change shape, size or color over time can also be a sign of skin cancer. Be sure to speak with your health care professional if you notice these changes.
Some birthmarks, such as café au lait spots and port wine stains, can sometimes be an indicator of a rare underlying health condition such as neurofibromatosis or Sturge-Weber syndrome.
How long does it take to heal after a birthmark removal procedure?
Your treated area should be fully healed after one week.
Are all birthmarks permanent?
Not all birthmarks are permanent. Some types—especially hemangiomas—will often fade away before a child reaches the age of 10.
Can all birthmarks be removed completely?
Most birthmarks can be either completely eliminated or reduced to the point of being almost unnoticeable. However, certain birthmarks, such as Becker’s nevi, are not effectively removed with laser treatments.
During your consultation, our specialist will determine if you are a candidate for successful removal, and propose an alternative treatment strategy if necessary.How many sessions will I need to completely remove my birthmark?
How many sessions will I need to completely remove my birthmark?
The number of sessions needed to fully eliminate a birthmark is typically 6–8. The exact number will vary from person to person depending on what kind of birthmark they have, how large it is and where it is located.