Vascular Birthmarks Foundation Forum

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MelBel 05-24-2004 12:26 AM

Growing up with a PWS
I'm 14 and I have a pws on my right cheek. I know I'm young and usually its the parents that go on this website, but parents can never truly know how you feel. No one else besides yourself actually experience the emotions that you feel. I have been getting laser treatment since I was a baby, and I'm sure its helped. When I was younger I used to think that my birthmark would go away by the time I was older, by like high school. But now Im 14 and a freshman in high school and its still there. Now I'm feeling as if it will never go away. When I look in the mirror, I imagine how things would be different in I didnt have this pws on my face. I would probably be less shy and have more self confidence. A lot of my friends have boyrfriends, but I dont and never have and I know its because of this pws on my face. People says its whats on the inside that counts, but everyone sees the outside first. I wear makeup, but it doesnt totally cover the pws. I feel as if I can't go anywhere without makeup. Even if I'm just going to soccer I have to put on makeup. I know a lot of the people on this website went through this stuff, so I just want to know how you dealt with all of this. I also want to know if theres anything that will get rid of this quicker, or what are the best lasers?

Lise 05-24-2004 01:01 AM

Re:Growing up with a PWS
Hi Melissa,

This board is rather quiet during the week-ends. I'm confident that someone with a similar experience will reply to you later this week (I didn't grow up with a birthmark). Also, there is a very supportive group of people with PWS on another site, do you know it? It is

Lise (AVM of the lip)

heather03 05-24-2004 04:15 AM

Re:Growing up with a PWS
Hey Melissa

I totaly know how u feel growing up with a PWS. Iam 19 years old and have also been getting laser treaments for the past 13 years of my life. I have PWS on my face and other areas on my body but only recieving the treatments on my face. It has been such a slow process but its almost gone. I also wear make up, i have since i was about 14! You are so right no one can truly know how you feel. I also sometimes wonder what if i wasnt born with this. How things would be. I would also be less shy and more confident but also this has made who iam!

hankbartenbach 05-27-2004 03:41 AM

Re:Growing up with a PWS
Hi Melissa,

I can relate to alot of what you said. I am a 22 years old and have PWS on my face. I also have hemangiomas in other areas as well.
The whole dating thing I agree with, people see you first the way you look and then they meet you for who you are. Personally after 14 years of laser treatment my marks are still here, and I know they are here to stay. I think they have made me a better person. Sure we get stares and asked questions but god made you with a PWS for a reason, you might not know why yet but it will come to you. I know some reasons why I have one but that is a different subject.

I know I am a guy but tell you the true I have makeup that I can where when I want to. Like if I know I am going to be around alot of people I do not know I would where it, but I would rather not because my birthmark is part of me. So is yours laser treatment can be painfull depending on the laser you are useing. The doctors can not do anything more for me, but if you are interested the V-Beam Pulse Dye laser is very good and is safe on infents. Ask your doctor about it maybe he or she will know of it.

If you have any questions just ask this website is full of info.


nickbar 05-27-2004 05:44 AM

Re:Growing up with a PWS
Just wanted to say HI Hank...its been awhile. Hope all is good with you.


hankbartenbach 05-28-2004 02:21 AM

Re:Growing up with a PWS
Hi Corinne,

Yes it has been awhile. How have you been?
I have been good.


nickbar 05-28-2004 06:51 AM

Re:Growing up with a PWS
Good. I have been swimming in the world of VB...its become a huge passion for me. Want to change the world ya know ;). Maybe I can in the world of VB thru my new job with the foundation.


eprmo 05-28-2004 05:21 PM

Re:Growing up with a PWS

I am a mother of a 14 year old freshman, like you. She was born with a Hemangioma, in the middle of her face. She has been having three laser treatments since she was 11. She will have surgery this summer, ..I am sure she understands 100% of what you are saying. if you want to e-mail her, please e-mail me first. I will talk to her about this, and then you and her can take it from there.


PS, as a mother of a teen with a b-mark, let me say to you, I am think it is TRULY WONDERFUL that you came here on your own, and aready I can see what a strong, confident girl you really are!!! I say,,,,YAY, to you!!!!!!

emma 07-02-2004 09:25 PM

Re:Growing up with a PWS
I really feel for you. I am 30 years old, with a port wine stain birthmark that covers almost half of my face. I have had some pulse dye treatments, from the age of 14 to 19, but none lately and there has just been some improvement, but not enough to go without makeup.
I am married to a great guy and have two children (who both have no birthmarks). You can have a great life.
It is wonderful that you have been having laser treatments at your age and I recommend that you continue them as often as you can. You are still young and have your dating life ahead of you!
What makeup do you use? I have been using Max Factor Pan Stick makeup and setting it with powder (one's that are not too absorbant - like not oil control). I like Coty, L'oreal, and more expensive, Sheseido. I don't like Covergirl powder, too absorbant and kind of makes the foundation flake off.
I think the Max Factor is the best I've used and it looks really natural, even though I need heavy coverage. I really pay attention to the neckline and hairline and blend well. When I was a teenager, I used Dermablend, but it seemed cakey and people would comment on my heavy makeup.
I hope my comment helps you. Good luck with your treatments.

MichaelJR 07-04-2004 08:37 AM

Re:Growing up with a PWS
Hey, Melbel I don't know you, but I know excactly how you feel, Cause I have one too. It takes part of my cheek, half lip,chin and like 2 percent of the neck, and 2 percent on the ear. It's all on the left side. When I was 10 the doctors where gonna remove my PWS but I was afraid, Now I'm 15 and I regret not letting the doctors remove my PWS, it's alright though, The only thing is that I get everyone's attention, I wonder what would happen when I remove it would girls actually look at me? I D K, Well now I want the doct to remove it, My mom will make my appointment soon, Get rid of it, I would probably miss it. But hey I gotta try. I know how you feel. Just keep going in life, Good luck to all you guys!

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