There isn’t much that can be done to prevent a birthmark from developing. There are several different types of congenital markings, such as hemangiomas, port wine stains, and congenital moles. Some are made visible by excess pigment in a localized area, and some are the result of blood vessel accumulation. Research has not identified any singular reason why some people have one or more birthmarks and others do not. On the bright side, research has identified ways to diminish or erase the appearance of unwanted birthmarks.
Historically, the advice given about birthmarks has been to just live with them. In some cases, this may be easy. Chalk that obvious mole up to a beauty mark. If you or a loved one have a large or cosmetically concerning birthmark, you know this isn’t always possible. Aesthetic appearance is important, and there are also other reasons to consider birthmark removal.
Severe birthmarks that alter the physical structure of the face or body are relatively rare. These situations demonstrate a clear need for birthmark removal. An obvious marking on the skin, or one that protrudes and affects general appearance, may be both physically and psychologically concerning. A dermatologist can examine a birthmark of any kind, severe or not, to evaluate the overall health of cells involved in the marking. Rarely are birthmarks indicative of skin cancer, but a physician may recommend a small biopsy of tissue just to err on the side of safety.
Knowing that a visible birthmark can diminish self-esteem, at the very least, and pose health concerns in more serious cases, many parents of children with birthmarks inquire about treatment options. Advances in dermatology have made it possible to choose from several options. In some cases, topical or oral beta-blockers halt the progression of a birthmark. If a biopsy is recommended for a birthmark or congenital mole, surgical excision of the involved tissue may be an optimal treatment option. For superficial birthmarks such as port wine stains and some hemangiomas, laser treatment may be ideal.
The best way to know if a birthmark should be removed is to consult with your trusted dermatologist. We would love to see you in our Teaneck, NJ office, where we can assess your birthmark and discuss treatment options appropriate for your unique situation. Call 201-836-9696.