Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Can a birthmark be removed?"
I have some very noticeable birthmarks on my hands that are bright red. I want to get them removed. Is this possible? Is it safe for my skin to do something like have them removed?
It may be possible to have your birth marks treated. This would be a cosmetic or elective procedure, since based on the description and location of the birth marks, it is unlikely that they are causing any sort of serious medical problem. Having the procedure classified as a cosmetic procedure is an important consideration, because it does mean that your insurance will most likely not pay for any procedure you choose to have done. If you are interested in a consultation to see what might be done about the birth mark, I would suggest that you set up a visit with a dermatologist. They will be able to evaluate what type of birth mark this is and make recommendation as to possible treatment options. First line treatment for birth marks is usually laser therapy. This involved exposing the birth mark to high doses of laser light, which causes bleaching of the birth mark and causes the blood vessels which give it the red color to retract. Laser treatments are usually well tolerated; the major side effect is a 'sun burn'. In people with darker skin, laser treatments are more risky, because they may cause loss of pigment in the skin, which can end up looking worse than the birthmark. Start by seeing your dermatologist!
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