Not Convinced Your Child Needs Laser Therapy For That Port Wine Stain? Look To The Future

Seeing a child with a port wine stain may not make you react much. That can be good if you're passing the child on the street, but it's not so good if you're that child's parent or guardian. Port wine stains may start out looking relatively mild in children, but they don't usually stay that way. Laser therapy is often recommended for treating the stains. If you've been reluctant to have your child undergo the treatment, you need to get past that. Port wine stains may look harmless now, but they can have side effects if left untreated.

The Mark Can Get Worse

First, the mark can get much worse as your child grows up. The reddish stain can become darker, and the stain can become raised and lumpy. A tiny port wine stain that gets worse might not cause a lot of concern, but the typical port wine stain can cover a lot of skin. As it gets worse, that creates a cosmetic problem because the darkened stain is a very noticeable purple color, and port wine stains usually affect the face. The stains also become more difficult to treat when they are worse; in other words, a pinkish stain on a young child's face is a lot easier to treat than a dark red, bumpy stain that's been getting steadily worse for years.

Growing Port Wine Stains Can Lead to Secondary Disorders

Not only is the stain a problem cosmetically, but it can create secondary problems both physically and emotionally. The solidity of the stained area means that as it grows, it can place pressure on surrounding tissues. This is a definite problem if the stain is near the eyes as the pressure can lead to glaucoma. Surrounding tissue can swell, too. The stain can bleed very easily.

Even if no secondary physical problems form, emotionally the stain is a drag. It can result in deformity and thus affect how the child views him- or herself as time passes. It can affect the child (and later, teen and adult) socially, as well.

The thought of any surgery or physical treatment on a young child can be uncomfortable. However, laser therapy is relatively non-invasive, and treating the stain now saves so much trouble later. You should talk to your child's specialist about treatment options now and find out what additional treatments might be needed later on in life. Port wine stains on the face tend to respond well to the treatments, so the chances of success are high.