Birthmarks can appear in many different shapes, sizes and colours, and can be found almost anywhere on the body. Some are caused by an excess amount of melanin or pigment in the skin, creating hyper pigmented patches that are darker than the surrounding area. Others are formed when blood vessels develop abnormally beneath the surface of the skin, resulting in pink, red or purple patches.
Although any part of the body may be affected, birthmarks often develop on the face which can be problematic for those who have them. Noticeable marks can be difficult for children to cope with as they grow up, and can have a negative effect on their developing self-confidence. While some birthmarks fade with time, there are some that continue to grow with the person and darken as time passes.
There are various ways of coping with troublesome birthmarks: make up can be a very effective way to cover up visible marks, particularly if using specialist camouflage make up with a high concentration of pigments. Unfortunately, this approach is temporary, and needs to be repeated on a frequent basis.
Birthmark removal can offer another, more permanent solution. Intense pulses of light are used to break down the pigments or blood vessels, so that the marks eventually fade away.