What is a Birthmark?
A birthmark is a spot on the skin that can vary in size, shape, color, and texture. It can appear anywhere on the body and in many individuals, appears at birth. While some birthmarks are unnoticeable and small, some can take on a more prominent appearance and cause worry and self-consciousness. Snyder Dermatology, serving greater Austin, TX and the surrounding communities, offers birthmark removal for qualified candidates. People who feel embarrassed by their birthmark because of its size or location, or fear it may cause risk to their health, may undergo birthmark removal with our board-certified dermatologists.
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Types of Birthmarks
It's important to have your the birthmark thoroughly assessed by a dermatologist before determining if or how it should be removed. In some cases, timing may be an issue if a child has not reached a certain age, and in other cases, a more complex surgery may be needed.
- Pigmentation birthmarks
These are generally the most common type of birthmark and can form in a number of different ways. They can form within a mole, which is a pigmented spot on the skin also known as a nevus. Most moles are harmless, but some can grow and take on a darker, larger shape and could pose risks later on in life. Other pigmentation birthmarks include "coffee-cream spots" which are lighter than a mole, but are caused by too much pigment in the skin. They do not pose a risk, they do not fade, and normally do not require removal. Mongolian spots appear on children and form as a slate-colored, flat patch that generally go away by the time a child reaches school age.
- Macular stains
Also referred to as "salmon patches," these birthmarks are thin, flat, light pink patches that appear on the skin. They form on babies either on the upper forehead or on the back. They are harmless, but may cause a cosmetic concern later on. Salmon patches that appear on the eyelids almost always disappear, while those found on the neck do not. A consultation for birthmark removal in these cases will help determine what is necessary to remove them.
- Vascular Malformations
Vascular malformations most commonly occur as a port-wine stain and are almost always present at birth. It is caused by the development of abnormal blood vessels and can be found anywhere on the body. They appear flat, are pink and red in color, and tend to darken to a deeper red or purple with age. These birthmarks do not fade and they do not go away. While they are harmless for the most part, they can be a concern if located near the eye or the upper section of the face. In these cases, the mark could be associated with a brain condition or eye disorder.
Hemangiomas are tumors found in babies and appear as lesions on infants shortly after birth. They occur when a grouping of blood vessels are bunched together. They generally show as discolorations on the skin, most commonly found around the head and neck. These birthmarks can sometimes be complex, because they can also grow on the internal organs, which cannot be seen. Hemangiomas found on the skin often disappear within a few months after birth, some stay forever, and some take years to fade.
How to Treat Birthmarks
Individuals, who have birthmarks that are visibly unsightly, or those who fear their birthmarks may cause risk, may be qualified candidates for birthmark removal. Depending on how large and complex the birthmark is, will dictate the type of procedure or medication used to remove the mark. While birthmark removal can enhance one's appearance, it is important to understand that scarring may be a part of the outcome. This is because most birthmarks are removed using surgical excision, which generally requires a topical or local anesthetic. Our dermatologists use a very gentle, delicate approach to birthmark removal and may even consult with a cosmetic surgeon to ensure scarring is kept to a minimum. After treatment, it can take anywhere from 7 – 10 days, or several months, for the skin to appear normal and healed. It is important that sunscreen be worn at all times so that the healed area does not become discolored.
Plan Your Procedure
- 15 minutes
Schedule Your Consult Today!
We invite you to call our Austin, TX dermatology practice, or one of our other locations throughout the Austin area to learn more about birthmark removal methods and the options available to you. Our team of dedicated board-certified dermatologists will assess your birthmark and provide you with the best treatment plan that meets your aesthetic goals.