There are several types of birthmarks that respond well to laser treatment. At the Medispa Institute, we can treat café-au-lait macules, which are brown birthmarks of varying size, and Nevus of Ota, a birthmark that normally appears around the eye on one side of the face.
What is involved in the treatment?
To treat these types of birthmarks, a special kind of laser, called a q-switched laser, is required. This type of laser outputs the laser light in nanoseconds, which allows for better removal of these types of lesions.
How many treatments are required?
Several treatments will be required depending on the specific birthmark. The treatments are usually performed once every 1 to 3 months, depending on the lesion. Café-au-lait macules usually require five or more treatments, while Nevus of Ota can require more than 10 sessions.
Is there downtime?
With café-au-lait macules, you may resume normal activities immediately, however, you may experience some redness and/or swelling for several hours. For Nevus-of-Ota, the treatments are of necessity very strong, therefore you can expect 2-7 days of redness, bruising, crusting, and tenderness.
Will it be completely cleared?
With laser birthmark removal, although we aim for complete clearance, a more realistic expectation is significant lightening of the birthmark to about 70-90%, which is a very good outcome of the laser treatment.
Will it come back?
Generally, after laser birthmark removal, the lesions do not come back. However, a few extremely rare cases of spontaneous reoccurrence have been documented, and there is no predictive measure of when or how or what causes the recurrence. We have not had any cases of recurrence in our clinic to date.
Will there be any scarring?
Scarring is not the result of laser treatment, but the result of your skin’s inability to heal properly. We will ask you prior to treatment if you scar easily and briefly examine your arms and legs for scarring to determine if you are a good candidate for laser treatment of birthmarks.
Are there any complications?
As with any medical procedure, there is always a possibility that something can happen. With this type of procedure, normal reactions are redness, bruising, swelling, crusting, increased pigmentation (hyperpigmentation), lightening of the skin (hypopigmentation). These reactions are typically transient and will resolve over time.
How much does it cost?
The cost for the procedure will vary depending on the size and color of the lesion. Treatment costs range from $150/per session for a small quarter-sized lesion to $400++/ per session for larger lesions.