Manhattan

121 East 60th Street, Suite 8AB New York, NY 10022

Ph. (212) 285-1110

Long Island

901 Stewart Ave, Suite 240 Long Island, NY 11530

Ph. (516) 512-7616

Birth Mark Removal

What is a Birth Mark?

Usually present since birth, a birthmark is a mark or splotch on the skin which can appear in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes. Pigmented birthmarks are formed when cells have abnormally high levels of melanin in them. Melanin is the pigment that creates color in your skin. The cause of birthmarks1 is unknown, but it has been determined that the occurrence is higher in darker-skinned individuals like Hispanics, Asians, and African Americans.

Many patients think that birthmarks should stay and that they are an inherent part of their identity. However, many patients experience a great deal of discomfort due to their birthmarks. This is because many birthmarks are large and attract unwanted attention. Some patients feel that others pay more attention to their birthmark than to their faces and want a birthmark removed or lightened.

Dr. Rokhsar offers several minimally-invasive treatment2 options at his New York office.

Types of Birthmarks

Birthmarks are categorized into two groups:

  1. Congenital Moles: This type of birthmark comes in a variety of shapes and sizes but are usually dark or brown colored. They can appear anywhere on the body and can sometimes be raised.
  2. Cafe-au-lait spots: Are oval-shaped birthmarks that look light brown or dark brown in color.

Birthmarks are further divided into subcategories of pigmentation types, macular stains, vascular malformation3, and hemangiomas. Some birthmarks fade or completely disappear over time, but those who are self-conscious about their appearance may wish to consider birthmark removal procedures.

Pigmentation-type birthmarks
These can include various types of birthmarks including moles (congenital nevi), Coffee-cream spots, and Mongolian spots. Mole is a nonspecific term for nevus, which is a pigmented skin spot. While most moles pose no health risks, some large nevi may have cancerous effects later on during one’s life. coffee-cream spot is caused by too much pigment in the skin. It does not fade away and does not require treatment. Mongolian spots are flat, slate blue-grey patches commonly seen in children. By the time a child reaches school age, these birthmarks usually disappear.

Macular stains (salmon patches)
These are very thin, light pink patches of discoloration that appear on babies on the back of their necks or on their upper eyelids. Most of the salmon patches on the eyelids disappear during the child’s first year, while most of the ones found on the neck do not.

Vascular malformation

Birthmarks caused by abnormal blood vessel development are almost always present from birth. Port-wine stains are vascular malformations that are pink and can be found anywhere on the body. They are flat birthmarks that are pink-red at birth and darken to a red-purple color over time. Port-wine stains do not fadeThey may be concerning if they are on the face above or around the eye because they may be associated with eye and/or brain problems.

Hemangiomas

They are strawberry-colored birthmarks that range in size from tiny blebs to large and multiple tumor-like growths. They are not true birthmarks since they don’t appear at birth, but start in infancy and then grow. Hemangiomas appear from birth to age 18 months, and then slowly shrink. Port-wine stains and other true birthmarks appear at birth and do not grow larger.

Hemangiomas that require early aggressive treatment include those that are cosmetically deforming, growing rapidly, or obstructing vision, hearing, breathing, eating, or any other body function. Hemangiomas on the lower face and neck may later block internal airways. Large facial hemangiomas can cause psychosocial impairment. If larger hemangiomas are left unattended to regress (decrease in size over time), the resulting sagging skin and stretched-out fat might look better if surgically removed.

Laser Removal

Hemangiomas are usually superficial when first diagnosed. Upon diagnosis, these disorders should be treated immediately with a laser. Since lasers become less effective with time, early treatment is important. The laser selects the red and shrinks the vessels so that the result is a less noticeable lesion. Repeated treatments almost completely remove the superficial component.

However, since the laser can only penetrate 1-3mm, it cannot shrink any deep component. Sometimes early treatment will prevent further growth, although deeper portions may still persist and grow. NYC patients with hemangiomas are treated with flash-lamp pulse dye, pump dye, and sclerotherapy lasers. The risk of scarring is small. Complete removal is not guaranteed.

How Are Birth Marks Treated?

Fraxel Repair: The Fraxel:repair laser system uses an ablative treatment that treats the tissue deep within the dermis, which is also where pigmentation abnormalities are present. The procedure uses CO2 laser technology to fractionally treat microscopic sections of the birthmark, with little risk of scarring or hypo-pigmentation. Multiple treatments are required, depending on the birthmark size and color.

V-Beam Pulsed Dye Laser: The V-Beam Perfecta uses energy that targets the area with an intense but gentle pulse that selects the discolored birthmark, ablating the pigment responsible for the mark. Multiple treatments are usually performed and, for many patients, improvements are seen immediately after treatment.

Dr. Rokhsar specializes in cosmetic laser treatment and is recognized in New York and throughout the country as an expert in his field. Contact us to schedule a consultation at our Garden City or New York City locations to learn more about birthmark removal and what the various procedures can do for you.

Birth Mark Removal Results: Before and After

Birth Mark Removal: Before and After Treatment Photo - patient 1
Birth Mark Removal: Before and After Treatment Photo - patient 2
Birth Mark Removal: Before and After Treatment Photo - patient 3
Birth Mark Removal: Before and After Treatment Photo - patient 4
Birth Mark Removal: Before and After Treatment Photo - patient 5

*Results may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I treat a birthmark on my newborn?

As soon as you notice a birthmark, contact a dermatologist like Dr. Rokhsar in Manhattan, who is double board-certified. Although most marks are harmless and do not require treatment, they can identify the type and advise if treatment is needed.

There are a variety of birthmarks including vascular (red) or pigmented (brown or black) that newborns or young children can develop. Each has its own unique diagnosis, risks, and treatment plan (if any) with particular lasers or monitoring.

Examples of vascular birthmarks include port-wine stains and hemangiomas. Examples of pigmented birthmarks include congenital nevi, cafe au let macules, ash leaf macules, Becker’s nevus, and a variety of other dark birthmarks.

Does laser treatment hurt?

Dr. Rokhsar is an expert in the treatment of birthmarks. He has treated many NYC dermatology patients with birthmarks over the years with great outcomes. Most treatments are painless as many effective measures are taken to minimize discomfort, including topical anesthesia if necessary. Many lasers are equipped with cooling mechanisms to minimize pain.

How many sessions are needed for treatment?

Several factors determine the number of laser treatment sessions, including the size, color, and type of birthmark. Although patients usually see improvements after only one or two treatments, it usually takes three to eight sessions to see results.

Can laser therapy completely remove my birthmark?

Setting realistic expectations will help you to get the best out of your treatment. Unfortunately, in some cases, it is near impossible to remove all signs of the birthmark, as in the case of hemangiomas.

Your dermatologist will discuss the extent to which treatment will assist with removing, or minimizing the birthmark. While some birthmarks can be removed almost completely, others can only be improved. There is also a risk that a birthmark can recur years after treatment. Dr. Rokhsar will advise you of realistic goals and outcomes of your particular birthmark.

Are there any side effects or risks associated with laser treatment?

At our offices in Long Island and Manhattan, we use the CO2 laser, the pulsed dye laser technology (Vbeam laser), pigmented laser technology, Q switched lasers, Alexandrite lasers, nanosecond lasers, NdYAG lasers, the Fraxel laser, and many other technologies to treat birthmarks. These options are safe and minimally invasive.

You may however experience slight swelling and redness, purple marks, bruising, and scabbing after the procedure. Dr. Rokhsar will discuss the particulars of the healing profile of your birthmark with you prior to your treatment in detail.

Does Doctor Rokhsar treat birthmarks on kids with lasers?

Dr. Rokhsar is a double board-certified fellowship-trained laser surgeon with over 20 years of experience in treating birthmarks with lasers in both kids and adults.

Locations

Upper East Side Manhattan
121 East 60th Street, Suite 8AB New York, NY 10022
(212) 285-1110
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Long Island
901 Stewart Ave, Suite 240, Garden City, NY 11530
(516) 512-7616
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References
1 How to Remove a Birthmark. Available: https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/birthmark-removal.
2 Skin Conditions: Pigmented Birthmarks. Available: https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/birthmarks.
3 Vascular and pigmented birthmarks. Available: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10943257/.

About author - Dr. Cameron Rokhsar

Dr. Cameron Rokhsar

Dr. Cameron Rokhsar is the founder and owner of Cosmetic Laser Skin & Surgery Center. With degrees from Harvard University and NYU, along with multiple publications and media features, the double board-certified dermatologist and laser surgeon proudly shares his expertise with patients in Garden City, Manhattan, and those who fly in to receive treatment at his offices. Dr. Rokhsar has worked extensively with Vbeam laser, Thermitight, Coolsculpting, and Fraxel laser technology, as well as Allergan and other injectable brands. He pioneered the Non-Surgical Nose Job and continues to be a leader in his field.

Learn more about Dr. Rokhsar | Dr. Rokhsar's Google Scholar