Port-wine stains appear as red spots on the skin
Port-wine stains are a congenital malformation of the blood vessels in the top layers of the skin and appear as red spots on it. About 80% of the port-wine stains are localized in the face, but they can also show on the body. They do not form back in the course of life but instead rather become darker with time and sometimes even nodular.
The dye laser is the "gold standard" in the treatment of port-wine stains
The gold standard in the treatment of port-wine stains is the flashlamp-pumped, pulsed dye laser. Being the gold standard means that this treatment method has been established as the unrivaled method of choice worldwide. The younger and the brighter the stain is, the better the results to be expected. Port-wine stains in the face generally respond better to the treatment than those on the arms or legs. After the laser treatment bluish discolorations appear on the lasered areas which disappear within 10-14 days.
Multiple sessions are needed
The whitening process is a gradual one. For this reason, multiple sessions are always required. Most treatments can be performed without a local anaesthetic. Patients describe the feeling during treatment similar to the "snap of a rubber band" on the skin. For larger areas, or for the treatment of children in the facial area, we also offer performing the treatment with a general anaesthetic, which is accompanied by our anesthesiologist Dr. Sebastian Koch.
Hemangiomas should be treated timely
One must distinguish port-wine stains from the so-called hemangiomas. These show up shortly after birth and can then undergo a strong growth in thickness and size within only a short time period; sometimes within days or few weeks.
In their initial stage, that is, when a red spot appears, hemangiomas can look similar to port-wine stains. However, as soon as a lateral growth is being determined, a timely handling of the diagnosis hemangioma should follow in order to prevent further growth.
Additional information on port-wine stains, hemangiomas and their treatment options can be found on the side of the German Dermatological Laser Society (Detusche Dermatologische Lasergesellschaft, DDL): http://www.ddl.de/faq_feuermale.php?u=7&n=3 and on http://www.vaskulaere-tumore.de