Laser treatment of portwine stains

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  • Format Audio, Texts
  • Language/s English
  • Target Audience Self-directed learning
  • EBM Stage 0 - Why EBM?, 3 - Appraising evidence
  • Duration <5 mins
  • Difficulty Introductory

Key Concepts addressed


The birthmarks known as portwine stains are caused by permanent and malformed dilated blood vessels in the skin. Commonly occurring on the face, they persist and often darken as the child matures, and can be seriously disfiguring.

Numerous treatments were tried over the years including freezing, surgery, and radiation, but with little impact and many side-effects.

The introduction of laser treatment brought impressive results: improvement is usually seen after a single laser session in most types of lesions, and the damage caused by dispersion of heat from the laser to the surrounding skin tissues is temporary [2], [3].

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