What is a Birthmark?
Birthmarks are generally either red or brown and vary greatly in size and appear on different parts of the body. Red marks consist of tiny blood vessels, while brown marks are made up of brown pigment (melanin) that protects your skin from UV rays. Facial birthmarks are common and usually are the cause of most patients’ concern. Red birthmarks include “strawberry”, port-wine stains, stork bites and hemangiomas while brown birthmarks may consist of moles, “café-au-lait” or Mongolian spots. The café-au-lait is the most common brown birthmark and is flat, light brown and well circumscribed. Some birthmarks may actually be associated with health problems so be sure to consult your doctor carefully to determine if this is the case before proceeding with treatments.
How can it be treated?
The q-Switch Nd:YAG Laser works by stimulating collagen production which is used by the skin to generate new cells. This new technology allows bithmarks to be treated at the root, deep in the skin. Using laser energy that penetrates deeply without injuring the top layer of skin, the deeper layers of skin is stimulated to produce natural collagen and other vital proteins that make up healthy and youthful-looking skin. This q-Switch Nd:YAG Laser treatment is relatively swift and is painless, with the added bonus of very little or no downtime for patients.
Do I have to have a test patch?
Yes, test patching and consultation is mandatory by law. It gives us the chance to asses the birthmark. One of the technicians will quote you a price and go through a consent form with you, then if all is good (no photo-sensitive conditions, immune system problems etc.) we will perform a test patch. This consists of 3 laser shots on the birthmark. We will then book you in for 2 weeks later to carry out a full treatment.
Does it hurt?
The amount of pain felt will depend on the type of birthmark, the amount of treatment required and your own pain threshold. Some clients would describe it as no more than uncomfortable, where others will describe it as an elastic band flicked against the skin. The truth is that you will not know how painful you will find treatment until you try it! We do give advice on pain relief if you need it.
What to expect?
Immediately after q-Switch Nd:YAG Laser treatment, the area will appear blotchy for several hours and the brown area will darken in colour. After 1-2 weeks, the darkened pigment naturally “washes off” to leave behind a much lighter colour.
Most birthmarks will remain this lighter colour, and you will have the option to decide on additional treatment sessions to further reduce the colour if you remain unsatisfied with the overall appearance. It is essential to use a high quality sun screen after treatment to reduce the risk of repigmentation or hyperpigmentation.
How long does a treatment take?
This depends on the size of the birthmark; a small one might take 5 minutes, where a large, or multiple birthmarks could take an hour or more.
I live very far away! Can you quote laser removal via picture?
In some cases. It is sometimes very hard to get a perspective on how big a birthmark is when we cannot see it in person. We do offer our clients to send over images via email or Facebook messenger of the birthmark they have, along with something next to the birthmark for size comparison (e.g. ruler or bank note) then we can give an estimate quote.
I understand the process and want to come in for treatment.
If you’re ready for removal, just pop in to see us where we can get one of the technicians to talk to you and book you in for a test patch/consultation. Or alternately call or message us to book a test patch/consultation. We hope to see you soon.