Laser Birthmark Removal Guide

Birthmark removal may be possible for some people who have certain types of birthmark.  There are many kinds of birthmarks, so it is important to have your mark assessed before looking into laser birthmark removal or even birthmark removal surgery.  We cover all aspects of birthmark removal on this on this page, including laser birthmark removal cost and the cost of surgery, but be sure to see a qualified professional to get your unique mark assessed first both to be sure it will respond and also to get a better assessment of the potential cost.

Laser Birthmark Removal: Types of Birthmarks

We start with a list of marks and information about whether a laser birthmark removal or a birthmark removal cream might be appropriate.  This information can give you a start as far as whether you might be a candidate before you spend any money – the birthmark removal cost can be high.  You will still need to get an assessment because there are so many differences that have to do with the size of the mark, its location, and how deep it is.  For now, here are the general categories:

  • Moles *: Can often be removed with a plastic surgery procedure with minimal or no scarring.  These are not technically “birthmarks”, but the same laser removal procedures are often used.
  • Café-au-lait spots * : Can also often be removed with laser birthmark removal or birthmark removal cream, but depending on where they are and how big they are, there might be a scar left behind so you need to consider the potential effects of this procedure.
  • Salmon patches: These marks are usually temporary, disappearing in early childhood. Most cosmetic surgeons recommend leaving these spots alone due to the risk of scarring with removal.  Therefore, these marks can be removed, but only if they persist.
  • Port wine stains: These marks do not go away, and tend to be on the face and are very obvious discolorations. These are the types of marks that lend themselves to laser birthmark removal procedures. These treatments may lighten the port wine stain birthmarks significantly.  The port wine stain birthmark removal cost can be high.

This is very general information of four of the most common kinds of birthmark that can be candidates for laser birthmark removal procedures. As you can see, only the port wine stain mark is a particularly excellent candidate for removal. That said, nothing on this page should take the place of consultation with a qualified and experienced cosmetic surgeon.  * Any spot on the skin that changes in shape, coloring, or texture should be immediately examined by a dermatologist.

Laser Birthmark removal

Laser birthmark removal is the fastest way to remove certain types of mark.  Of course this speed comes at an increased price as compared to creams, and there can be some side effects afterwards.  You should check with a practitioner who has lot of experience with laser birthmark removal not only to make sure that she or he agrees with your doctor or dermatologist that your mark can be safely and effectively removed, but also to get before and after pictures of people who have had similar marks.  The most important homework you need to do before any laser procedure is whether your unique mark can be effectively addressed.

Laser birthmark removal is actually quite a simple procedure.  The area to be addressed is treated beforehand so that the effects of the laser can be strong yet as gentle on the skin as possible.  Then the laser is used to destroy the areas of skin that are the focus of the procedure.  Finally creams are put on to help the skin heal and protect it from infection.  Afterwards you will be given care instructions that you should follow closely.

We provide answers to  common questions people ask about laser birthmark removal:

Q. Will Laser Birthmark Removal leave scars?

A. Make sure you consult with a top cosmetic/plastic surgeon before your procedure, In general, it depends in the type of mark that you are having removed. For port wine stains, laser removal leaves only a low chance of scarring, but the practitioner can always use a slightly lower intensity of laser for the procedure to hopefully do the job and ensure no scarring.

Q. What should I do to Prepare?

A. Doctors don’t all agree, but many suggest that you take vitamins C and E before the laser birthmark removal and also generally eat well so your immune system and general health are up to par for the healing that will take place after the procedure.

Q. Is there anything special I should do the night before my laser birthmark removal procedure?

A. There is nothing particularly special to do the night before your procedure, except perhaps preparing yourself psychologically by visualizing the new skin that will replace his port wine stain. Also, of course, it’s good to get a good night’s sleep beforehand.

Q. How will my skin look right after my procedure?

A. After the procedure there will be discoloration and redness that will fade. Soon there will just be healthy skin where the birthmark was!

Laser Birthmark Removal Recovery

If you have hesitated to get laser birthmark removal because you fear that the recovery period from this cosmetic surgery might be complicated or painful, here is information that might help you feel better. These are the basics of recovery:

– After the laser birthmark removal you’ll be put on antibiotics to prevent infection

– Your skin will feel tender and sore for about a week or maybe a little more after this type of cosmetic surgery, depending on the size of your mark that was removed.

– Swelling may or may not occur after laser birthmark removal, though it is often minimal and almost unnoticeable.

– It’s possible that you’ll experience bruising, but cold compresses and some vitamins have been known to reduce the chances of bruising or the time over which bruising might occur.  Your cosmetic surgeon should be able to predict for you whether bruising will occur

– Sleeping may be uncomfortable at first. You may want to sleep on your back and possibly even take a mild sleep aid after the surgery for a few nights. Again, you should talk to your practitioner about a sleep aid if sleep is a must

– Not only will your activity not be limited to nothing after your laser birthmark removal, it may be recommended that you move around a bit during the day to prevent clots or excess swelling in the affected area. That said, it may be a month before you can engage in very heavy exercise after the procedure.

These are the major components of recovery from laser birthmark removal. Of course, ask your own cosmetic surgeon for details about your own unique recovery needs. Hopefully, however these guidelines might help break down your fears of pursuing this relatively simple cosmetic surgery.

Laser Birthmark Removal Cost

Your laser birthmark removal cost is hard to describe given that each mark is unique.  The size of the mark, its location, the sensitivity of your skin, and the exact type of mark will all factor in.  The best way to describe laser birthmark removal cost is to break it down by session.  Each session will cost anywhere from $250-500.  How many sessions you need is something your practitioner can go over with you.  It may depend on your goals, but will of course also depend on your mark.  If you have sensitive skin or the mark is on a location where the practitioner wants to be particular careful, you may need more sessions.

Beyond the actual laser sessions, keep in mind that laser birthmark removal often requires a visit to your doctor (which would likely be covered by insurance if it is a routine physical), a visit to a dermatologist (in many cases also covered but you should check), and some aftercare visits.  When you are determining your total laser birthmark removal cost make sure you are including everything.

MedicineNet provides an excellent overview of the various ways to reduce the look of these marks.

Please use our comments section to relate your own experience with birthmark removal, or to ask questions about anything we’ve covered on this page from laser birthmark removal, to birthmark removal cream, to DIY solutions.  Best of luck on whatever approach you choose for birthmark removal!

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