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Port Wine Stains

What is it?

A Port Wine Stain or hemangioma is a red colored birthmark made up of dilated blood vessels. Laserderm is still the only Independent Health Facility approved by the Ontario Ministry of Health to treat benign vascular lesions.  (read more)

Laser treatment of these birthmarks is covered by OHIP for children under the age of 18, regardless of size and/or location. OHIP covered laser treatment is extended to adult patients with PWS birthmarks on the head and neck, or larger than 10cm diameter on the extremities.

**Special note about pediatric birthmark treatment

Early detection and proper diagnosis of hemangiomas in infants and children, in particular, is critical in avoiding ulcerations, facial deformity and further medical complications that can be associated with large hemangiomas. PWS are also treated starting at one month of age, as these birthmarks are more easily faded when they are small and superficial, and there are no psychosocial effects to the child during school-age. While most patients are referred to Laserderm by their family doctor or general dermatologist, parents are welcome to seek a consultation with Dr Laughlin by contacting the Laserderm office directly.  To schedule a consultation please click here for contact info

Skincare Adjuncts

Sunscreen is essential.

Treatment Options

The gold standard for these vascular birthmarks if the Pulsed Dye Laser, and Dr. Laughlin was one of the earliest pioneers of this therapy for patients in Eastern Canada. Click here to learn more about Port-wine stains and vascular birthmarks:

For more information, download our Vascular Treatment Program PDF from our Resource Library.

Treatment OptionKey BenefitAverage Number of TreatmentsAmount of DowntimeComfort Measures
Pulsed Dye LaserSome birthmarks can clear completely (in 20-25% of cases), other birthmarks may require more treatments to see progressive improvement in fading5-8 Tx but can vary greatly. Treatment sessions at 3 month intervalsSignificant bruising. Will fade over 7-10 days. Some swelling for larger areas treated. Skin can feel like a mild sunburn. Make-up can camouflage. Topical Anaesthetic