Birthmark Care and Treatment
Why Choose Treatment for Birthmarks at University of Colorado Hospital?
The dermatologists and staff at University of Colorado Hospital are trained to diagnose and treat all skin conditions, including birthmarks.
UCH provides the highest levels of nonsurgical and surgical treatment using the latest techniques. Our nurses are certified in dermatology, oncology, surgery and wound care, helping ensure the best in patient care.
Our dematologists will examine your birthmark and advise you on your treatment options. If you decide to remove your birthmark, UCH providers are expert in the latest laser procedures to safely perform the procedure.
What are Birthmarks?
Birthmarks are spots or patches of colored skin on a newborn. They may be present at birth or appear soon after. They are almost never harmful or painful, but your doctor should check them.
The most common type of birthmark is the salmon patch. It occurs in 40 percent to 70 percent of newborn babies. Salmon patches are pink or red areas of skin. They usually appear on:
- Back of the neck
- Between the eyebrows
Tests & Treatments
Tests for Birthmarks
Your doctor will usually identify birthmarks during a physical examination. He or she may also take photos of the birthmark at various times to see if it is growing.
Some birthmarks are on internal organs. These are diagnosed with pictures taken by magnetic resonance imaging or ultrasound.
Birthmarks may fade or disappear with time. Sometimes they can be hidden by hair or clothing. If they cause embarrassment or discomfort, they can be treated. Your doctor will help you to decide if treatment is needed.
Anti-inflammatory drugs. Anti-inflammatory drugs called corticosteroids are taken by mouth or injection or applied to the skin. These are usually used to stop raised birthmarks, called hemangiomas, from growing.
Laser surgery. Your doctor might use a laser to remove birthmarks that are close to the skin. Laser surgery is often used on port wine stains, which are red birthmarks that get darker with age.
Surgery. Doctors surgically remove hemangiomas on internal organs.
University of Colorado Hospital takes a team approach to birthmark care. Doctors and nurses blend their skills to provide the most appropriate care for each patient.
Dermatologist – a doctor trained in the diagnosis and treatment of skin changes and diseases.
Other Birthmark Staff
Registered nurse – a nurse who sees clinic patients, conducts medical evaluations, takes patient histories and provides after care for patients with skin conditions.
Wound care specialist – a doctor or nurse trained to treat chronic and severe wounds.
Living with Birthmarks
Birthmarks rarely cause medical problems, although you may not like the way they look. Your doctor can help you to decide whether to remove a birthmark.
If you are worried about a birthmark on your child, remember that it may fade or even disappear as he or she gets older.
Getting a Second Opinion about Birthmarks
The doctors and staff on the Dermatology team at University of Colorado Hospital are happy to provide second opinions for patients in the community.
Additional Birthmark Resources
American Academy of Dermatology
National Congenital Port Wine Stain Foundation
123 E. 63rd St.
New York, NY 10021
Tel: (516) 867-5137
Vascular Birthmarks Foundation