When Should Birthmarks Be Removed?

Birthmarks are a common occurrence. Most commonly, a concentration of extra pigment or blood vessels causes a noticeable mark on a newborn’s skin. “There are many ways these marks can present, including moles, port wine stains and hemangiomas, as well as café-au-lait spots,” shares Emily Johnston, physician assistant at Sanova Dermatology. While birthmarks are typically harmless, small, and easy to live with, they can sometimes cover large, noticeable areas of the body or even be indicative of a more serious, underlying health concern.

“Removing a birthmark can be done for many reasons, both for medical necessity and cosmetic,” explains Johnston. On their own, birthmarks generally do not pose any serious health risks and many will fade with time. However, the American Academy of Dermatology does encourage concerned parents of infant children with birthmarks to consult a dermatologist to rule out any medical conditions that could complicate the child’s health.

Birthmark removal can also be done for reasons of emotional and psychological well-being, especially when the mark is large and/or is in a highly visible area, such as the face. Obvious birthmarks can have lasting negative effects on those with them and can ultimately lead to lower self-esteem and self-confidence early in life, which often persists as children grow.

“Should you decide to remove a birthmark, there are a range of treatment options available including everything from laser therapy to surgery,” says Johnston.

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For more information on birthmarks, treatment options, and whether or not removal may be the right choice for you or your child, please contact us at Sanova Dermatology today.

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