• Port Wine Stain
  • Nevus of Ota
  • Coffee and Cream Birthmark

Approximately five percent of patients are born with one or more types of skin discolorations commonly referred to as birthmarks. Birthmarks are maybe vascular in nature ranging from flat capillary hemangiomas or port wine stains to large raised vascular growths or hemangiomas.

Brown pigmented birthmarks or café au lait spots are also commonly noted in a significant number of newborns. Nevus of Ota is a blue-black birthmark commonly seen at birth or developing in the first few years of life.

Fortunately, new advances in laser surgery have enabled us to remove or improve many of these conditions. Dr. Sawhney Skin Clinic has unique vascular and pigment lesion lasers capable of treating port-wine stains hemangiomas, Coffee and Cream Birthmark, and nevus of Ota.

Birthmarks are congenital (present at birth) abnormalities of the skin that are seen in approximately 5% of the population. Birthmarks may be composed of blood vessels, (port-wine stain or hemangiomas), pigmented cells called cafe au lait (coffee and cream) or blue-black dermal stains called nevus of Ota.

Port-wine stains can occur anywhere on the body and may rarely be associated with underlying abnormalities of the eye and brain. Port-wine stains show diffuse collections of dilated capillaries in the dermis thus their name capillary hemangioma. New treatments using pulsed yellow and green light lasers can improve or eliminate many of these lesions.

Dr. Sawhney’s Skin Clinic has various programs for infants, children, and adults with these conditions. Hemangiomas are raised vascular tumors that may be found in superficial or deep (cavernous) locations in the skin. Hemangiomas may undergo rapid growth in the first few weeks of life and may present problems secondary to compression of vital structures (eye, neck). Evidence suggests that hemangiomas are best treated early in life prior to the rapid expansion phase. Multiple lasers are available, at our center to address these vascular tumors. Pulsed yellow, green light, Diode, Alexandrite, and ND-YAG lasers are all used to treat these lesions depending on size, color, and anatomic location. Pigment birthmarks are divided into superficial epidermal or deep (nevus of Ota) varieties.

Coffee and cream birthmarks are caused by excess melanin deposits in the epidermis and respond very favorably to pulsed green light lasers. However, there is approximately a 50% risk of recurrence requiring re-treatment. Nevus of Ota shows well to excellent response using Ruby, Alexandrite or ND YAG lasers. Multiple treatments are required to eliminate the collections of pigment cells seen deep in the dermis.