Birthmarks are benign marks on the skin that may develop on any part of the body.
Birthmarks are a common source of embarrassment for both children and adults, especially since they can be difficult to treat without the appropriate devices and dermatologic training.
At Laser & Skin Surgery Center of Pennsylvania in the greater Philadelphia area on the Main Line in Devon, Jordan V. Wang, MD, MBE, MBA and his team of board-certified dermatologists are industry leaders in a variety of laser birthmark treatments, which enables us to treat a large number of patients who may be unable to receive treatment elsewhere. Dr. Wang completed his fellowship training under world-renowned dermatologist Roy G. Geronemus, MD, so we are uniquely qualified to provide comprehensive dermatologic care for birthmarks.
Our specialized training, state-of-the-art laser devices, and 8,000+ sq. ft. facility allows our team to care for patients of all ages, including newborns. Additionally, we treat a variety of vascular and pigmented birthmarks, including port-wine stains, hemangiomas, nevus of Ota and nevus of Ito, café au lait macules, and blue nevi.
What devices treat birthmarks?
Our board-certified dermatologists have the specialized training to treat birthmarks with a number of laser devices, including:
- Fraxel Dual®
- Vbeam Prima®
what is a vascular birthmark?
Vascular birthmarks occur when the blood vessels closest to the skin’s surface don’t develop as they should. This can lead to an overgrowth of cells that can result in a vascular birthmark. While there are several types of vascular lesions that the board-certified dermatologists at Laser & Skin Surgery Center of Pennsylvania treat, the most common include:
- Port Wine Stains: These birthmarks appear as reddish discolorations that most commonly develop on the face, neck, arms, and legs, though they can affect any area of the body. They are caused by dilated capillaries just beneath the surface of the skin. Port wine stains can grow quite large, and some even cover the face or limbs.
- Hemangiomas: Although hemangiomas are benign (non-cancerous) growths, they can be quite apparent. These raised strawberry marks are deep red in color, as they develop from large clusters of blood vessels that can begin growing even before an infant is born. To diminish the bright red color of hemangiomas, our board-certified dermatologists utilize laser treatments, often in combination with topical medications.
After cosmetic and dermatologic surgery fellowship training under Roy G. Geronemus, MD at Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York in Manhattan, Dr. Wang is qualified to treat birthmark conditions in children and adolescents of all ages, including infants. He understands that early intervention is key when treating vascular birthmarks. That’s why Laser & Skin Surgery Center of Pennsylvania offers a number of quick procedures with minimal discomfort to treat vascular birthmarks in children.
what is a pigmented birthmark?
When melanin concentrates in one area of the skin, a pigmented birthmark can develop. While most of these birthmarks are brown in color, they can appear tan, black, or even blue. Common types of pigmented birthmarks include:
- Café Au Lait Macules: These lesions can resemble the color of coffee with milk–hence their name. They look tan in appearance, almost as if a latte has spilled on the skin.
- Nevus of Ota: This type of hyperpigmentation typically develops around the eyes and can appear brown to bluish in color. Sometimes, pigment can also affect the white portion of the eyes.
- Epidermal Nevi: These birthmarks are typically light or dark brown. Not only do they often appear as clusters of small growths, epidermal nevi also tend to thicken over time.
- Moles: Often called a nevus or nevi, moles refer to tan, brown, or black pigmented lesions on the skin. Although some children are born with moles, they commonly develop and grow with age. Some moles may become malignant (cancerous), so it’s important to monitor these growths for any changes in color, texture, size, or sensation and have regular checks with a board-certified dermatologist.
For additional information on Vascular Malformations and Vascular Birthmarks, please visit the Vascular Birthmarks Foundation website at birthmark.org.
“Vascular characteristics of port wine birthmarks as measured by dynamic optical coherence tomography.” Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 2021 Aug 11.
“Cost Savings of In-Office Pulsed Dye Laser Treatment of Port-Wine Birthmarks Without General Anesthesia.” Dermatologic Surgery. 2021 Apr 30.
Q: What Are Some Groups Related to Birthmarks?
A: Here is a list of support groups for individuals and families caring for birthmarks.
• About Face – In order to help people with facial disfigurements and their families, this non-profit organization provides information, emotional support, and educational programs.
• Angioma Alliance – Individuals with cavernous angioma established this international non-profit health organization as a way to help others (cerebral cavernous malformations).
• Birth Defect Research for Children, Inc. – Birth defects information and support services are provided by a non-profit organization to expectant and new parents.
• Changing Faces – A UK website committed to informing, inspiring, challenging, and changing how we view disfigurement.
• Children’s Craniofacial Association – People with facial differences and their families can benefit from a non-profit organization that works to improve their quality of life.
• Children’s Miracle Network – A non-profit organization that raises money for children’s hospitals across North America in order to save and improve the lives of children.
• Cutis Marmorata Telangiectatica Congenita – A Netherlands website that helps and informs others on CMTC.
• Faces – Serving patients with craniofacial disorders caused by disease, trauma, or birth.
• KidsHealth – Information on health for children, from conception to adolescence, that is approved by doctors.
• KT Foundation – A non-profit organization dedicated to individuals with Klippel-Trenaunay syndrome.
• Klippel Trenaunay Syndrome Support Group – Dedicated to educating the public about Klippel-Trenaunay Syndrome and providing resources for K-T families, adults with the condition, and healthcare professionals.
• Miracle Flights – To ensure that no child is denied medical treatment because they cannot afford the transportation costs, the company provides air transportation.
• National Organization for Rare Disorders – A federation of non-profit health organizations dedicated to helping people with “orphan” diseases and supporting the organizations that help them. As an organization, NORD’s mission is to find a cure for rare diseases by educating the public and advocating for funding for rare disease research.
• National Organization of Vascular Anomalies – Provides information and assistance regarding vascular anomalies and their diagnosis and treatment.
• Operation Smile – Gives children with correctable facial deformities around the world access to life-changing surgeries.
• Sturge-Weber Syndrome Community – A division of the Vascular Birthmarks Foundation that offers free and voluntary support and services to people and families affected by SWS and vascular birthmarks, while also funding research and spreading awareness among physicians and the general public.
• Sturge-Weber Foundation – A non-profit organization that serves individuals with PWS, SWS, and KT, as well as their families.
• The Disfigurement Guidance Center – Serves as a worldwide resource center for disfigurement treatment and treatment-related information.
• The Hemangioma Treatment Foundation – Treats children with hemangiomas and other vascular birthmarks, as well as educating medical professionals on how to treat these conditions. International support, treatment, and education services will be provided based on need, not on a person’s country of origin by this organization.
• The Pediatric Glaucoma & Cataract Family Association – Canadian website for pediatric eye conditions, including glaucoma.
• Vascular Birthmarks Foundation – An international non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and educating people with hemangiomas, port wine stains, and other vascular birthmarks and tumors, as well as funding relevant research.
• Von Hippel-Lindau Family Alliance – Dedicated to improving Von Hippel-Lindau disease diagnosis, treatment, and overall well-being for those who are affected and those who care for those affected by the disease.
Support Groups/Individuals and Parents – Support groups and boards for those with birthmarks and related conditions.
• Birthmarks and Hemangiomas (iVillage) – Offers support, discussion, and bonding for those with birthmarks and hemangiomas.
• PHACES Support (MSN Groups) – A PHACES support group for individuals and parents.
• Sturge-Weber Syndrome Support Group (MSN Groups) – Group for parents and individuals with Sturge-Weber syndrome.
• Vascular Birthmarks Support (MSN Groups) – Group for individuals and parents caring for vascular birthmarks.
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Our dermatology center in the greater Philadelphia area on the Main Line in Devon, which spans more than 8,000 square feet, is a comprehensive cosmetic and medical dermatology facility. Our board-certified dermatologists are leaders in the industry who have trained under distinguished physicians to provide our patients with cutting-edge care.
laser & skin
surgery center of Pennsylvania
Monday – Friday: 8:00am – 7:30pm
Monday - Wednesday, Friday: 9am - 4:30pm
Thursday: 9am - 5pm
*Physicians perform 100% of all medical and cosmetic treatments.