Everything you need to know about port wine stains

Posted on 22 Jul, 2012

Port wine stains, also known as nevus flammeus, consist of dilated capillaries in the skin which produce discolouration in the skin. This discolouration is usually reddish-purple, which is why they are called port wine stains.

People who have port wine stains usually have them from birth. The discolouration tends to remain throughout the person’s life and grows in proportion to the rest of the body.

Other facts about port wine stains

• Port wine stains most often appear on the face but they can appear anywhere
• In childhood, port wine stains are usually flat and pink
• In adulthood, port wine stains may deepen into a purplish or dark red colour, and they may also become thicker in appearance
• Around 3 to 5 in every 1,000 people have port wine stains

Can port wine stains be removed?

Until recently, there wasn’t really an effective treatment for getting rid of port wine stains. However, a new treatment has been developed – port wine stain and birthmark removal laser treatment. This treatment involves using laser technology to heat up and eliminate unwanted skin lesions, such as port wine stains, without damaging the rest of the skin.