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christie 04-15-2004 11:54 PM

uncertain about treatments
My name is Christie, and I'm 17. I have a pws on my left arm, and it covers the whole underside, about half of my hand, and the top of my left forearm. It's never really bothered me cosmetically unless I'm dressin g up, but I'm worried about the complications I could have later on in life. I had laser treatment done when I was 8 and stopped when I was 10 or 11 and I only had it on my upper arm. All I remember is that it was very painful for me and I don't really want to experience it again.

Is there a great chance that my pws will thicken when I get older unless I have laser treatment? Also, will laser treatments definitely (or close to definitely) prevent complications?

Thanks for any info you can give me.

timeout 04-16-2004 04:50 PM

Re:uncertain about treatments
Hi Christie,

I have a daughter with a birthmark on her left arm and until yesterday I had no concerns about it. Finding this site and reading some of the things has given me lots to think about. Megan is almost 2 1/2 years old and I am wondering if I should have her seen by a specialist. I'm not even sure if what she has is a port wine stain. Are there other birthmarks? Can you have a birthmark that is not called a port wine stain? Most times I forget she even has it on her arm. It seemed for a while that it was lightening up. Not many people notice it. But during the winter, it really turns purple a lot.

I am just wondering if I should be concerned about this at all. A former Pastor of our church has a daughter with a birthmark on her lover, left leg. It covers a lot of her calf and ankle and part of her foot. She never had anything done and is now around 27 years old. She is married & has three small children and it doesn't seem to be affecting her in any way. I talked to her about it soon after Megan was born, when she had visited our church. She had no concerns and I don't think she plans to do anything about it. So I never gave another though to doing anything to Megan. I just assumed that she will be fine with it her whole life.

Now I am wondering if I should take her to a specialist.

Thanks for letting me ramble,
Tina :)

christie 04-16-2004 11:02 PM

Re:uncertain about treatments

I don't really know that much about port wine stains (even though I have one) because my parents weren't well-informed and therefore I'm not either. I'm trying to research more to see if I should begin to be concerned.

I'm pretty sure you can have birthmarks that aren't port wine stains. I have a brownish one on my upper thigh that isn't. You should probably specifically ask her doctor if they think it's a port wine stain--it sounds like one. You said it turns purple, and port wine stains usually do when the affected person is cold. Mine does.

Everything I've read says that pws don't usually thicken or cause any other medical problems until the person is in their 30's or above.

As I said before, I don't really know that much, so all I am going to suggest is that you maybe research port wine stains online and make an appointment with a dermatologist to get an opinion about it. They're better when treated earlier, and better safe than sorry, right? Sorry I couldn't help you more.


timeout 04-17-2004 01:10 AM

Re:uncertain about treatments
thank you for replying, Christie!

I will try to figure out if it is a port wine stain. If it is going to cause problems in the future, I want to know. If it turns out to be nothing to worry about, at least then I know for sure.

Thanks again, for replying, and I hope you find the information that you need.


Jin9084 04-17-2004 03:21 AM

Re:uncertain about treatments
Tina and Christie,
Hi my name is Jinny and I have a son almost 3 years old. Austin has pws on most of his face. In the past couple of months most of his body has shown signs of vascular malformations (pws?) I can honestly say that I just took him for his first laser treatment this week. I know that pws can cause a lot of problems and it's always best to go see a specialist to make sure what your options are. Tina, I think you said that your daughter's pws is starting to get textured. I know Austin's is and that's not a good thing. You can find a doctor in your area by clicking on "Find a Physician" on the left hand side of the page and then clicking on your state. There's a lot of great doctors on that list. I hope this helps both of you.

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