Vascular birthmark removal uses the same procedure as pigmented birthmark removal, and can also significantly improve the appearance of the skin. Vascular birthmark removal tends to be more successful if undertaken at a younger age, while the blood vessels are smaller.
Using the Advanced Intense Pulsed Light system, short bursts of light are applied to the skin. The patient may experience some discomfort at this point, although the sensation has been likened to being flicked with an elastic band, rather than causing pain.
The energy from these bursts of light is absorbed by the haemoglobin in the blood within these blood vessels, and the blood begins to heat up. When it reaches temperatures between 60 and 70°C, the cells that line the walls of the blood vessels denature.
This will then cause the vessels to collapse and eventually disintegrate. As a result, the red patches on the skin begin to fade in colour. Once blood vessels have been destroyed, they cannot carry blood again, although occasionally new blood vessels could form.
After the treatment, the birthmark may initially look like it is starting to become even darker, although this is only a temporary effect, and the mark then starts to blister and peel or simply fade away.