Skin Disorders

Skin Disorders

Skin disorders cover a wide range of conditions, some benign, some very serious, and some even a sign of another underlying illness. A skin disorder not only affects your physical health, but also your emotional well-being.


Skin CareSkin Disorders › Port Wine Stain

Port Wine Stain

Port wine stain or nevus flammeus is a rather darker birthmark - a type of hemangioma - that can be deep red to purple (or even black in African-American babies). It is a vascular birthmark consisting of superficial and deep dilated capillaries in the skin which produce a reddish to purplish discoloration of the skin. They are so called for their colour, resembling that of Port wine .

Some port wine stains may fade over time but most remain unchanged or may even deepen in colour. They do not shrink by themselves or disappear spontaneously. If the port-wine stain affects the face and neck, it may have a severe impact on the child's social, psychological and economic development.

Causes of Port wine stain

Port wine stains develop in areas lacking the small nerves that control the ability of blood vessels to constrict. As a result, the blood vessels stay open all the time, and this shows up as a permanent blush in the area. Port wine stains occur in about 3 per 1000 births, affecting males and females and all racial groups equally.

Is it contagious? Port-Wine Stains are not contagious and you can not "catch it" from anyone.

Symptoms of Port wine stain

Port-wine stains are present at birth and vary in size and shape. They first appear pale pink in color and darken with time. The texture can change gradually from smooth to thickened and pebbled.

  • Is usually a flat pink-to-purplish lesion on skin in infants
  • Is usually darkly red-to-purplish lesion in adults
  • Most commonly seen on face and neck (but may occur on trunk or extremities)

Port wine stain treatment

Many treatments have been tried for port-wine stains including freezing, surgery, radiation, and tattooing. Lasers have made the biggest impact on treatment, because they are the sole method of destroying the tiny blood vessels in the skin without significant damage to the overlying skin.

The flashlamp pumped dye laser, a yellow light laser, has been the most successful at destroying stains in infants and young children. Two other yellow light lasers -- the copper vapor and krypton laser -- have been used successfully in adults. The neodymium-YAG laser is used to treat thick, nodular, deep purple port-wine stains.


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