PWS Darkening After Laser TX? - Vascular Birthmarks Foundation Forum
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Old 11-14-2006, 07:54 AM
heyjude heyjude is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: SLC, Utah
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Unhappy PWS Darkening After Laser TX?

Hello All,

I have posted before about my son's PWS. Jude is 12 mo and has had 3 laser tx so far. Over the past couple of days I have noticed his birthmark is much more noticeable, darker. It has been about 8 weeks since his last tx and by now the fading should be done (from what I understand). I was wondering if anyone has had similar experiences. Do PWS get darker and then lighten up again depending on the day? I know that his PWS is vascular and changes when he is cold but a few days of darkening concerns me. I am just so afraid that we are spending all this time and not to mention MONEY on hoping that his birthmark will fade and that it won't.

Has anyone not had sucess? I hear people talking about how they have done as much laser surery as they can and are waiting until technology improves. How do you know when that is? If anyone can shed some light on my situation it would be greatly appreciated.



p.s. i was at the doctor's for jude's 1 year check up the other day and i put him on the floor to play with another little girl and her mom asked me if the "thing" on his face was contagious!!!! i couldn't believe she actually said that. some people are so idiotic. instead of getting upset i just laughed and said it was a birthmark. i am hoping his PWS fades enough before he's old enough to understand what people are saying.
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Old 11-14-2006, 10:45 PM
Posts: n/a

Hi Kennan.

My daughter is 5 and the redness she gets after a laser tx takes 12 weeks or more to fade. You are also correct in saying that pws is affected by mood, health, temperature etc.
Now she has very bad exzema on her pws since her last tx,so I really have no idea if she had any additional fading. sigh
My daughter has had very good success though. She has had a lot of tx's though to get to this point. We began tx at six weeks old and her Dr was very aggressive. We have switched to maintenance tx for her, meaning that it has gotten at light as it will get at this point, with the current technology and we just do a yearly tx to help keep it this light and help keep progression at bay.

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Old 11-14-2006, 11:48 PM
nickbar nickbar is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 1,054


At the vbf conference this past October, Dr. Nelson spoke on this subject of pws appearing darker. He spoke on the reorganization of blood vessels following a laser treatment. I would encourage you to email him thru ask the expert on the front page of this site and ask for details on this subject.

Corinne Barinaga
VBF Director of Family Services
vbfadvocate @ live. com (no spaces)
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Old 12-18-2006, 05:29 AM
Posts: n/a

Are you using any sunscreens? I've noticed that sun exposure can make my birthmark appear darker sometimes. A good sunscreen could help take care of this.
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Old 11-12-2007, 02:09 AM
Zelda300 Zelda300 is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 7
Default redness two weeks after treatment

My four-month-old baby had his first treatment two and a half weeks ago for a port wine stain on his face. I'm concerned because they told me that the laser marks (purpura) would fade within 10-14 days of the treatment. However, it has been more than two weeks & I can still see red marks where the laser touched his face. Also, the port wine stain looks a lot redder than before the treatment. Is this normal?
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Old 11-12-2007, 03:16 PM
samanthasmom samanthasmom is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 21

It usually takes about 2 1/2 weeks until my daughter's "spots" completely fade. I notice that it takes a good 4-6 weeks after each treatment for us to notice fading of the birthmark itself. From what I understand the healing process lasts up to the next treatment. As always, feeling cold or ill usually plays a hand in the appearance as well.
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Old 11-12-2007, 06:21 PM
Zelda300 Zelda300 is offline
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Default thanks samantha's mom

That's really helpful to hear that it can take that long to see results. Right now I'm concerned because the PWS looks so incredibly more red than before the treatment. It looks like the treatment made it worse. Do you think that this is just temporary?
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Old 11-14-2007, 06:34 PM
zuzuspetals zuzuspetals is offline
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 52

I believe that it is just temporary. My daughter's PWS has pinkish/redish areas for weeks after the treatment, even after the "spots" have faded. Also, she had a treatment over a week ago, and she still has quite a bit of spottiness. I wouldn't be concerned until at least a month went by, but that's just the opinion of a speech-language pathologist mom - by no means a professional doctor's opinion!!
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Old 11-14-2007, 08:25 PM
missy missy is offline
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,794

You know, we just posted an article here about this very thing:


PS... I did not know you were a SLP! I was looking the other day for resources for language milestones for a 4 year old. I have a 4 year old autistic who has a FANTASTIC SLP that we just love.
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Old 11-15-2007, 03:01 AM
Zelda300 Zelda300 is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 7
Default response to Missy


Thanks for offering your advice & sending the link for that article. The article, however, discusses re-darkening of a port wine stain years after laser therapy. The question for those people is whether it was worth it to do the laser therapy if eventually, the port wine stain will recur & the article finds that it is worth it. My son is in a different situation because he just had laser therapy two and a half weeks ago. This isn't a situation where the laser lightened his port wine stain & then years later it returned. This is a situation where the laser seems to have made the port wine stain appear worse. I really hope it's just still healing.

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