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Bothered By Birthmarks? We Can Help

Birthmarks are, as their name suggests, marks on your skin that are present from birth. They can range from a faint shadowy mark to a series of blotches across the face, hand, or other part of the body, or even stand out in a dark red or purple raised formation on your skin.

At New Image Medical Spa in Fremont, California, Surinder Sandhu, MD, offers intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy for men and women who want to reduce the appearance of skin conditions like freckles and birthmarks.  

All about birthmarks

Birthmarks are visible when you’re born or show up shortly after birth. There are many different types of birthmarks. They can look like tiny, pale moles; have a pebbled appearance like a ripe strawberry; appear lumpy and veined (hemangiomas); seem like a light brown, oddly shaped freckle (cafe au lait spots); or splash across your skin like spilled port wine. A birthmark that looks like a flat salmon-colored area between the eyes is often known as an angel’s kiss

Some birthmarks have extreme pigmentation abnormalities or atypical blood vessels. This can cause them to range in color from black and brown to red, purple, pink, or blue. Some birthmarks are hidden away inside the hairline on the back of the neck, or appear on the torso or back of a calf or ankle. Many of these, including the angel’s kiss or “stork’s bite,” fade as you age. For other, more obvious, birthmarks on the face or hands, nonsurgical IPL therapy can help fade them and reduce their visibility. 

IPL basics

Dr. Sandhu uses leading-edge IPL technology to send targeted pulses of concentrated light to areas of excess pigmentation and discoloration. The light passes through the top layer of skin and hits the second layer, where it helps break down excess pigmentation without causing damage to nearby healthy tissue.   

Dark pigmentation attracts and absorbs intense pulsed light, changing  it into heat. This causes the pigmented tissue to break up at a cellular level, and these disrupted cells (waste) are carried away naturally by your body’s lymphatic system. 

This can take a few weeks, so you’ll have to be patient. Depending on the size, color, and thickness of your birthmark, you may need several sessions spaced weeks apart to fully fade and flatten your birthmark. 

About your procedure

Before scheduling you for IPL therapy, Dr. Sandhu examines your skin closely and sits down to discuss your ultimate goals with you. Not all birthmarks can be fully erased, so it’s important to manage expectations. She works with you to determine how many treatments you’ll have, and how long you’ll need between treatments to give your body time to clear the waste from each session. 

During each IPL therapy visit, Dr. Sandhu cleans your skin and applies a numbing cream. She holds the IPL device firmly but gently against your birthmark, and waits while it sends out its intense pulsed light in a series of flashes. The entire process usually takes less than 30 minutes, and you can return to your day. 

Some patients report slight swelling and redness following IPL treatment, or notice their facial skin looks slightly sunburned and feels sensitive. These mild side effects shouldn’t interfere with your everyday life, but we create an aftercare program so you’ll know what to do.

For more information on IPL therapy for birthmarks, schedule a consultation by calling 510-269-2324, or request an appointment online.

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