Three in every thousand babies are born with a port wine stain. These stains can appear anywhere on the body, although the face is affected more often. The stains tend to be red or purple and are caused by the abnormal formation of blood vessels within the skin.
Treatment tends to be most successful when undertaken at an early stage of development. Early intervention is also advisable if the stain is noticeable and likely to cause embarrassment or distress. Port wine stain removal using Intense Pulsed Light can significantly reduce the appearance of the stain.
IPL targets the enlarged and dilated blood vessels, causing them to heat up. Once the blood reaches temperatures between 60 and 70°C, the vessels are denatured and collapse. They subsequently disintegrate and the redness diminishes.
The treatment allows an area of two square inches to be treated in as little as ten seconds, making the treatment time very short. Although the stain may appear to darken immediately after the treatment, it usually blisters, peels and fades within two weeks.
Results are accumulative and a course of treatment may be necessary, depending on the extent and age of the stain.