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What is Birthmarks?

Birthmarks are red, purple or brown pigmented spots on our skin that are present from birth. Nearly everyone has some type of birthmark, although the appearance of birthmarks can vary significantly from person to person. There are generally two types of birthmarks: vascular birthmarks and  pigmented birthmarks. Despite their different underlying causes, they both create dark splotches on the skin that can disrupt an otherwise smooth and even skin tone / complexion. Due to the distress this can cause, many people are looking for an effective cosmetic procedure to reduce the appearance of their birthmarks.

What causes Birthmarks?

Vascular Birthmarks: vascular birthmarks, like port wine stains, are red or purple spots and splotches on the skin due to areas with abnormal blood vessels. These small blood vessels and their surrounding vascular cell linings can grow erratically causing a splotchy, appearance of varying sizes on the skin.

Pigmented Birthmarks: pigmented birthmarks, like moles, are dark spots and patches on the skin that are due to hyperpigmentation in a certain area. This occurs when melanocytes, or the cells responsible for producing melanin, are overactive in one specific region on the skin. During development these cells can produce too much pigmentation in certain areas, resulting in these dark brown birthmarks on the skin at birth.

What treatments are available for Birthmarks?

The treatments for birthmarks, whether pigmented or vascular can be challenging but most often they can be diminished or even eliminated effectively. The Lumenis IPL system and/or the YAG laser system are what is used at Brandish Clinic for most effective results. IPL effectively treats hyperpigmented lesions, while the YAG laser is best used for vascular birthmarks.

Lumenis IPL

Luminous IPL can be used to selectively target and reduce the pigment molecules that comprise the dark brown patches in pigmented birthmarks. It delivers powerful Intense Pulsed Light to heat up and degrade the pigment molecules without interfering with surrounding tissues. Over time, the pigmented birthmark is diminished and the skin’s even complexion is restored.

YAG Laser

YAG Laser is a cutting edge laser system that works wonders on abnormal vasculature networks, making it the perfect solution for vascular birthmarks. By using laser wavelengths that specifically target blood vessels, the clusters of abnormal blood vessels in a vascular birthmark can be heated and destroyed without having any effect on the surrounding skin. As the body cleans up these vessels naturally, the appearance of the birthmark subsides or diminishes and the skin’s even tone and surface is restored.

What should I expect with the treatment?

To start, you and Dr. Brandish will develop an individualized treatment plan to determine whether IPL or Yag Laser or any other treatment may be most effective for your individual case.

Treatment expectations may vary depending on the modality used. We encourage you to visit the links to the treatments provided above so you can get a more specific idea of what to expect for each option.

Birthmarks Summary

Birthmarks, though medically benign, can really disrupt a patient’s appearance depending on the size and coloration. These patches are either due to hyperpigmentation (pigmented birthmarks) or abnormal clusters of blood vessel growth (vascular birthmarks), and in either case many patients are eager to remove them. By offering the Lumenis IPL system and the YAG Laser system at Brandish Clinic, we are able to cater to patients with either type of birthmark. These treatment options allow for highly selective and effective method in diminishing your birthmark’s appearance using cutting edge laser or intense pulsed light technology. The result is a more clear, smooth skin tone and complexion you’ve been looking for.

How do I get started with Birthmarks Treatment?

If you’re interested in hearing more or in scheduling an appointment, contact our office at

and we’ll take care of you. We offer free consultation appointments as well if you’d like to simply go over any problem areas and discuss treatment options for birthmarks with Dr. Brandish.