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Why Port Wine Stains Should Be Treated Early

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If your child was born with a port wine stain on his or her face, then your child's dermatologist may suggest that treatment to lighten the stain should be completed while your child is still young. There are several reasons why this is ideal. Keep reading to understand what these reasons are:

The Blood Vessels Are Smaller

Port wine stains are caused by an abnormal growth of capillaries throughout the dermis. Normally, only the dermal layers of the skin contain blood vessels, and the vessels sit relatively deep in the reticular layer of the dermis. Since up to 40 layers of epithelial cells sit over the top of the dermis, the blood vessels merely give the skin a pinkish color. When capillaries develop extensively in the epidermis to the point that the vessels create a large sheet, then the blood can be seen quite clearly through the epidermal layers in the way of a red or pink mark. 

As we grow, the blood vessels in the body widen and grow in more numerous amounts. This growth can lead to a darker, larger, and generally more pronounced port wine stain. It is much easier for treatments to be completed when the blood vessels are both fewer and smaller. This is especially true since treatments specifically involve laser treatments that destroy the blood vessels. 

If you wait to invest in treatment, not only will more sessions need to be completed, but the likelihood of treatment failure will increase. 

The Issue Can Lead To Skin Thickening

Over time, the epithelial layers over the port wine stain can become congested with collagen and lead to a thickening of the skin the region. As the tissue builds, the skin will appear rough and may look a lot like a scar. After all collagen fibers are formed in long strands to create scar tissue. 

When the skin thickens, the stain can stick out even more and lead to significant self-esteem issues. Since scar tissue cannot be removed or broken down once it forms, this situation cannot be treated. It is best to work with a dermatologist well before this becomes an issue during young adulthood.

Unfortunately, the laser treatments that are completely are somewhat uncomfortable. It is best to go through treatment while your child is still an infant, but you can wait until your son or daughter is a bit older and capable of handling the discomfort better. If you want to know about the best timeframe for treatment and the number of treatments that may be required, then speak with your dermatologist about this.