Are the Birthmarks Dangerous?

Are the Birthmarks Dangerous?

Birthmarks are divided into two categories: red and pigmented ones. Pigmented birthmarks are common skin discolorations that rarely cause health issues. However, it can be a major aesthetic concern and a source of serious self-esteem problems.

Red birthmarks, on the other hand, are called vascular birthmarks because of the involvement of blood vessel overgrowth. These colored spots may develop before or after birth.

Types and Causes of Pigmented Birthmarks

Pigmented birthmarks are usually harmless and can show up in any part of the body. They can appear as small or large, flat or raised, brown, pink, black or may even change color as time passes.

Some pigmented birthmarks or moles may go away as you get older, but you may also develop new spots over time.

birth marks removal in LondonUnlike red birthmarks that are caused by the clumping of extra blood vessels, pigmented marks occur when there is an overgrowth of your body’s natural cells (melanin) that create pigment.

Strawberry marks or strawberry nevus is a type of vascular birthmark known as hemangioma, which commonly occurs in infants and children. These marks are rarely harmful but may require medical treatment if they cause deformities of the skin or affect a child’s hearing, vision, and breathing.

Moles (nevi)

A mole is a type of birthmark, but not all moles are considered birthmarks. For instance, a form of skin cancer called melanoma can appear in moles or spots on the skin. Normal moles like the ones you are born with are often seen as small, round, tan or black spots, sometimes with hair growing out of them.

Large congenital moles may lead to the development of skin cancer. If you notice unusual changes in your moles, such as itching or bleeding, you should consult your medical provider immediately.

Mongolian birthmarks

Mongolian spots are characterized by bluish patches that look like bruises on the skin. They are often seen on children’s buttocks or lower back, especially in people with darker skin (Asian, African, American Indian, and Hispanic).

remove birth marks in LondonMongolian birthmarks usually fade away without treatment by the time the child reaches school age. A dermatologist can diagnose if your child has Mongolian spots and perform a physical exam to check for other signs and symptoms.

Café-au-lait spots

As the name implies, this flat pigmented birthmark resembles the color of coffee with milk. They are generally harmless but in some people, they can be a sign of a genetic disorder called neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1).

Café-au-lait spots are permanent but do not cause any illness or malignancy. Up to 20% of the population can develop these macules. Microscopically, the lesions are indistinguishable from melasma and freckles, thus they can be effectively removed by different types of lasers.

Effective Brown Birthmarks Removal

While most birthmarks should not be a cause of concern, some require treatment if they are cosmetically bothersome or growing rapidly.

after birth marksThe mere appearance of a birthmark is enough for a skin doctor to make a diagnosis. If a mole is suspected to be malignant, a biopsy will be performed.

Laser therapy can get rid of different types of pigmented birthmarks. As of now, there is no effective way to prevent birthmarks. Applying high SPF sunscreen is helpful for preventing complications but it will not prevent the formation of birthmarks.

Laser treatment for pigmented birthmarks

Brown or black spots and even vascular birthmarks respond well with laser treatments. Some birthmarks can only be treated with surgical excision but this often leads to scarring.

remove birth marks in LondonBirthmarks with brown pigment are suitable for laser treatments. A special type of powerful laser targets the pigment-producing cells in the skin and breaks them into small fragments to be absorbed by the body.
The focused laser only targets blood vessels or pigment cells so it does not cause permanent damage to the surrounding healthy skin.

The whole procedure will be explained to you during the first consultation. There are many types of lasers. Your doctor will use the one that works best for the type of birthmark that you have. You will be suggested to undergo several sessions until your desired result is achieved.

Different types of lasers for birthmark removal

Pulsed Dye Laser – this treatment delivers strong pulse of light to treat redness and skin pigmentations. It is effective in fading vascular birthmarks like port wine stain. Multiple sessions are often necessary as some of these marks recur and need retreatment.

remove birth marks in London costQ-switched Nd:YAG laser – this type of laser has been found to be 7x more effective in treating vascular and pigmented lesions. It has a longer wavelength that penetrates deeper vessels. It is used for treating age spots, freckles, darkened scars, café-au-lait spots, and other brown birthmarks.

According to a 2012 study, about 70% of participants treated with 1,064 nm Q-switched Nd:YAG laser showed complete removal of nevi (moles) after just one session. The remaining patients were completely treated after three sessions.

It is vital to have a realistic expectation of the treatment outcome if you are planning to get a laser treatment for your birthmark. Some spots will significantly improve but may not be completely removed. The majority of birthmarks require at least three sessions or more to achieve significant improvement.

Best Ways to Treat Pregnancy Stretch Marks: During and After

Best Ways to Treat Pregnancy Stretch Marks: During and After

Stretch marks in pregnancy are one of the most common cosmetic concerns among child-bearing women. Up to 80% of pregnant women develop stretch marks in the sixth or seventh month.

stretch marks on the bodyFor mothers, the joy that a new baby brings cannot be eclipsed by anything–not even by falling hair and gaining 10 stones–but it’s not wrong to still want to look your best post-pregnancy.

Learn what causes stretch marks during and after pregnancy, how to prevent them, and what to do if you already have them.

Stretch marks in pregnancy: what they are and how to prevent them?

Stretch marks, also known as striae, are narrow bands of red, purple, brown, or pinkish scars in the dermal layer of the skin. That’s right — stretch marks are actually scars, but not from an actual wound.

pregnancy stretch marksAs you put on weight and your belly grows to accommodate the baby, your skin stretches considerably, causing collagen and elastin to break. These proteins and fibers are important support structures of the skin; they keep our skin firm, supple, and bouncy. Ruptured elastic fibers produce scars and stretch marks are formed when they heal.

Stretch marks are not harmful to your health. They gradually fade in time after your baby is born. They may become less noticeable. However, the severity of the marks differ from person to person, and in most cases, they don’t go away completely.

You may develop stretch marks during:

  • Pregnancy
  • Puberty (growth spurt)
  • Sudden weight gain or loss
  • Rapid muscle growth (bodybuilding)

Why some people develop stretch marks, and others don’t?

It’s true that not everyone develops these dermal scars, but there’s no definitive reason why some people are at higher risk than others. So far, it has been found that they run in families.

pregnant woman with stretch marksSome experts suggest that fluctuating hormones are to blame. Hormones that rise during pregnancy weaken skin fibers, making them prone to breakage. Those with high cortisol (a type of hormone) levels in the blood may also get stretch marks.

How to prevent stretch marks in pregnancy?

Preventing stretch marks is cheaper than finding an effective treatment, but there’s no guarantee that any of the available methods will work for you. The idea behind effective prevention is to keep your skin healthy and hydrated so it can withstand the abrupt changes during pregnancy.

1. Moisturize your skin

Even the most heavily marketed creams and serums are not really that effective in treating stretch marks.

But a good hydrating cream with hyaluronic acid, Vitamin E, or AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) can keep your skin healthy and reduce the effects of skin fiber damage.

stretch marks on stomachGently massage these creams on your skin every day to stimulate blood circulation, as this promotes the removal of wastes and free radicals.

Increased blood flow also helps nourish the skin by facilitating the transport of nutrients within skin cells.

2. Moisturize your skin

Your skin also needs certain vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to keep it healthy. You need nutrients that encourage skin growth and strengthens your body’s defense system.

Eat lots of fruits and vegetables that are high in Vitamin C, A, and E. Incorporate whole grains and lean proteins in your diet for a more balanced meal.

The importance of a healthy diet is not only to satisfy nutritional requirements but to keep your weight in check since rapid weight gain causes the skin to overstretch.

3. Don’t skip your workout

stretch marks oilYou can still exercise while you are pregnant, as long as you do it with caution. Avoid exercises where falling is likely. Strenuous activities like contact sports are also a big no-no! Walking, swimming, and doing moderate-intensity exercise are recommended during pregnancy.

Exercise improves blood circulation, which helps keep your skin healthy and elastic to withstand the changes in pregnancy. Make sure to consult your medical provider before engaging in a workout routine.

Treating stretch marks after pregnancy

Stretch marks are easier to treat when they are new. Once they have matured, they would require dermatological procedures or even surgery. There are various products available to get rid of stretch marks, but they have not been proven to be effective.

Most of the time, you need a combination of different products to experience slightly favorable outcomes.

Right now, the only effective treatments for stretch marks are in-office procedures performed by licensed medical professionals and plastic surgeons.

Laser Treatment

Ablative and non-ablative laser therapies are being utilized to reduce the appearance of stretch marks. Laser therapies are less invasive than surgery and have minimal downtime.

tightens the stretch marks with handsLight-based treatments work by destroying the outer layer of the skin and stimulating collagen regeneration.

In return, your body speeds up skin growth and repair, revealing fresh skin tissues that are stronger and smoother in texture. You may experience bruising and redness after the treatment, but these usually resolve within 3-4 days.

Dermaroller Stretch marks Removal

Dermarolling or micro-needling is a popular treatment for skin rejuvenation and works best for scars, stretch marks, and other signs of skin aging. While dermaroller can’t get rid of stretch marks completely, it can significantly reduce the unsightly appearance of raised, reddish or silvery streaks of dermal scars.

You may need several sessions for optimal results, depending on the age and severity of your stretch marks.

Again, new stretch marks (the red or purplish ones) are easier to treat because they still have functioning blood vessels in them so its easier to stimulate collagen production.

Microdermabrasion Skin Resurfacing

Microdermabrasion is another non-invasive procedure that has been found to reduce the appearance of striae. Its mode of action involves the removal of the skin’s top layer to facilitate cellular turnover.

Microdermabrasion does not affect the layer beneath the epidermis so it cannot remove stretch marks completely. However, it can alter the outer layer of the skin, masking the appearance of stretch marks until they become less noticeable.

Whether you have new or older stretch marks, there are various non-invasive treatments that can reduce the appearance of these scars.

You should manage your expectations when looking for an effective non-surgical treatment. Most procedures require several sessions to be effective and the outcome depends on your body’s natural healing ability.