What Treatment Options Are Available for a Port Wine Stain?

Many babies are born with something commonly referred to as a port wine stain or a hemangioma. This is simply a discolored patch of skin or a birthmark. And, unlike many other birthmarks, which may lessen or even disappear with time, these marks will often grow and darken as the child grows.

Thankfully, port wine stains are generally not harmful to the child. However, you may wish to treat them if you feel they are detrimental to your child's appearance, health, or confidence. If you decide to go this route, there are many treatment options available.

Laser Treatments

One of the most common and oldest treatments for a port wine stain is laser treatment. These treatments use a laser to target the blood vessels in the skin and cause them to seal off, which can reduce the appearance of the mark over time.

Laser treatments typically have to be performed several times to get the desired results, and a small area of the mark can be tested first to ensure that your child will not have adverse reactions to the treatments. Generally, these treatments are straightforward, minimally painful, and ideal for patients who are over two years old.


In some cases, a parent may choose not to have the port wine stain treated. This might happen due to laser treatments not being effective or if the parent doesn't want to put the child through any type of treatment. In this case, it's best to help a child to learn to love and accept their skin and the mark on their body. Therapy can be helpful in these circumstances to help a child learn to love and embrace both the mark and themselves to build self-confidence and self-esteem.

Specialty Creams

If you don't want your child to undergo laser treatments, there are many herbal and other medicinal creams available that could reduce the appearance of the scar and reduce the risk of it growing bumpy and rough with time. There are also creams available that can help to camouflage or hide the mark if desired. It can help to consult your child's pediatrician on which specialty creams to try. 

How you deal with a port wine stain on yourself or your child is entirely up to you. However, since some medical conditions are more likely with a port wine stain present, it is always smart to seek medical attention before deciding on a course of action.

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