Birthmark Management

Birthmarks arising from blood vessels (vascular malformations and haemangiomas) are the most common birth defects seen in children.

When the problem is present at birth, it is known as a vascular malformation and it grows very slowly, in keeping with the increase in size of the body.

While best treated early to avoid the complications that could arise with increase in size, there is no urgency in this situation.

It is a very different story with an haemangioma, which is first noted as a little red dot, about 3 weeks after birth and increases significantly in size and colour over the next 2 months.

The traditional approach is one of “waiting and watching” and in a large percentage of cases, the growth stops by 6 months and by 2 years most of the haemangioma has disappeared.

However, the problem is the unpredictability of the growth in the first 6 months, with some haemangiomas increasing in size by 1000 times making it too difficult to treat and causing severe problems to the patient and parents.

The better approach would be for close monitoring of the problem, and if size increase is noted, for early intervention and removal of the problem with surgery or with laser or IPL treatment. This short-circuiting of a potential major problem is highly recommended to avoid getting into difficult and untreatable situations.

If you are concerned about a birthmark on yourself or your child please arrange an initial consultation with Dr Arianayagam who will make an assessment and provide you with recommendations.

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