Skin Cancer Screening

Does Your Child Have A Noticeable Birthmark? Consider Taking Them To A Pediatric Dermatologist

If your child has a noticeable birthmark, such as on their face, this can affect them later in life. Because of this, take your child to a pediatric dermatologist now before they get older and start school. Below is information on how a dermatologist can help your child with this. 

Laser Treatment 

Laser treatment is often used to treat and remove birthmarks. They may use a vascular laser or a pulsed dye laser. No matter which one the laser sends pulses of lights directly to the birthmark. This heats the cells and destroys blood vessels on the birthmark. Lasers are chosen because they do not cause problems with the skin around the birthmark. If the birthmark is not very dark, it will go away completely. If the birthmark is very dark, it will be lightened enough so that it is barely noticeable. 

What to Expect

During the first appointment, the dermatologist examines your child's birthmark to determine the type they have. This could include hemangiomas, which are birthmarks that are deep into the skin.

Your child may have port wine stains which are generally visible as soon as your child is born and often found on the face. The birthmark is flat and can be pink, purple, or red. If not taken care of the birthmark will become larger. 

Macular stains are also birthmarks that are found on the eyelids in most cases. This type of birthmark often fades on its own within the first few years of the child's life.

Once the dermatologist determines the type of birthmark your child has, they will know the type of laser to use and the right treatment plan. Your child may feel some pain during the laser treatment, but this is generally much like tiny needle pricks. Because of this, the doctor may use an anesthetic cream to numb your child's skin or use mild sedation.

 How long the process takes depends on the type of birthmark your child has and how dark it is. It may take a few minutes or around an hour or so. If the birthmark is very dark, you may have to bring your child back for more than one treatment. If so, they will wait a few weeks until you bring them back to give the treatment time to work.

Your child may feel some pain after the treatment. The area may blister, become sore, or become swollen. The dermatologist will likely suggest using an ice pack on the area and/or providing you with medication or ointment.  

Talk with the pediatric dermatology specialist to learn more information about this.