Laser/Light Therapy for Birthmarks

In laser/light therapy, an intense but gentle beam of light is used on birthmarks without damaging surrounding tissue.

Birthmark

Benefits of Laser Light Therapy for Birthmarks

  • Birthmarks are highly treatable with laser/light therapy.
  • Lightening of 70 to 90 percent is a realistic goal.
  • Treatments can be repeated every one to three months, depending on birthmark type, until the patient's goal is achieved.
  • Pain and recovery time is minimal.
  • Procedure is non-invasive.

What to expect after the procedure

  • Patients may not see any significant changes until several weeks after the surgery.
  • Treated area may be pink or red for four to eight hours after treatment.
  • Patients may feel a slight stinging sensation similar to a mild sunburn in the treated area. This sensation usually subsides within four to six hours. Cool packs or moist cloths may be applied to reduce the sensation.
  • Mild swelling in the treatment area usually dissipates within several days.

Preparing for the procedure

Before the procedure, an ASDS doctor will usually review the patient's medical history and conduct a physical exam. This is the time for the doctor and patient to discuss expectations, potential risks and outcomes of the procedure. Patients also should avoid:

  • Sunbathing, tanning beds, waxing and any chemical peels or collagen injections for two weeks prior to the procedure.
  • Perfumes, deodorants or any potential irritants in the treatment area before treatment.
  • Taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements for a doctor-specified time before treatment due to increased risk of bleeding.

In addition, patients should:

  • Avoid applying makeup, lotion, perfume, deodorant or any potential irritants to the treated area for either 24 hours or until all signs of redness and stinging have dissipated.
  • Apply a good moisturizing lotion to the treated area twice daily for the duration of the treatments and for at least three months after the final treatment.

Risks

As with any treatment, there are risks associated with it, though they are minimized in the hands of a qualified ASDS docotor. These include:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Discoloration
  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Scarring
  • Crusting