Birthmarks come in a variety of shapes, colors and sizes. Most birthmarks are benign and do not need any specific treatment other than periodic observation to make sure there is no significant change. Surgical treatment of birthmarks is usually indicated when they create a significant cosmetic deformity or when the diagnosis is worrisome or uncertain. An initial evaluation with a board-certified dermatologist will guide treatment and monitor birthmarks for unusual features. A board-certified plastic surgeon is crucial in evaluating patients needing excision and/or reconstruction, especially in cosmetically sensitive areas of the body.
Some common diagnoses for facial birthmarks include sebaceous nevus, giant birthmark (or, melanocytic nevus), junctional nevus, Spitz nevus, cafe-au-lait spots (neurofibromatosis), and dysplastic nevus. Rarely, an unusual birthmark may be an actual melanoma, but the incidence in children is exceedingly rare.
The surgical options are numerous. Most can be removed simply and closed in a linear fashion. For larger or disfiguring birthmarks, the surgical approach is highly tailored. From adjacent skin advancement to staged surgery using tissue expanders, Dr. Panossian will counsel patients and families on the best approach for every case.
Timing for surgery is also highly variable. Some birthmarks may be removed within the first months of life, while others may need to be delayed until the child is older.
Dr. Panossian has a wealth of experience in the treatment and diagnosis of all types of birthmarks and can offer guidance on caring for you or your child. Arrange for a consultation today to take care of that unsightly or worrisome birthmark.