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Birthmarks

Laser Treatments For Birthmarks
Name Description Cost
Neodymium (Nd:YAG) laser hair removal Café au lait spots are best treated by a q-switched ND:YAG laser, which is typically effective on brown pigmentation. Four to six treatments may be necessary to affect the spot. (Q-switched...more Approximately $300 and $500 per treatment
IPL laser (photofacial) Birthmarks require at least two treatments to remove and often many more. Birthmarks that are reddish in color and treated in childhood should be treated with a pulsed dye laser and not IPL. If your birthmark is confined to a small area, the cost could be as low as $300 per session....more
Pulsed dye laser Strawberry hemangiomas are treated with pulsed dye lasers, which are effective for treating vascular birthmarks. Port wine stains can also be treated with pulsed dye lasers. If the laser...more On average, a treatment can cost $800 to $1,600.
Q-switched laser Cafe au lait spots are best treated by a q-switched laser, which is typically effective on brown pigmentation. Four to six treatments may be necessary to affect the spot. (Q-switched means...more $300 to $500 per treatment

Treatments Not Recommended
Name Description
Skin lightening While skin lightening treatments like hydroquinone can temporarily lighten the skin, they are not permanent treatments for café au lait spots and ineffective on vascular birthmarks and moles.

Treatment options: Laser therapy is the most effective way to reduce unwanted birthmarks. These handheld devices are passed over your birthmarks, allowing bursts of light energy to penetrate your skin and heat the responsible blood vessels. This causes your blood vessels to clot, break down, and eventually fade.

Not all birthmarks respond to lasers identically. When you approach your dermatologist or plastic surgeon, query them about the main lasers known to reduce birthmarks: Q-switched lasers and pulsed dye lasers.

Lasers can't necessarily eliminate these discolorations completely. The lighter your birthmark, the easier it is to remove, so while lasers can lighten a port-wine stain by 50 to 90 percent after 10 or more treatments, less noticeable birthmarks may take only four to six sessions.