Vascular, Lymphatic and Systemic Conditions

Picture of Port-Wine Stain after Laser Treatment

Picture of Port-Wine Stain after Laser Treatment

Port wine stains (PWS) are a type of birthmark that causes a rich, red discoloration on the skin. The color of port wine stain resembles that of port wine and affects between 0.3% to 0.5% of the population. A port wine stain birthmark is a capillary malformation that does not go away on its own. Treatment for a port wine stain birthmark can include laser treatment, cosmetic cover-up, and surgical excision utilizing tissue expansion.

Laser treatment for a port wine stain birthmark is most effective when started as an infant, but laser treatment can be used on older children, too. Laser treatment may be uncomfortable, but it should not be painful. Children can be given an anesthetic to make the process easier. Laser treatment for port wine stain birthmarks do not usually remove the mark completely and additional treatment may be needed as the patient gets older.

Image Source: Color Atlas of Cosmetic Dermatology Marc R. Avram, Sandy Tsao, Zeina Tannous, Mathew M. Avram Copyright 2007 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

Text Reference: Journal of Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology, vol. 8, 2015: "Laser Treatment of Port-Wine Stains"