A port wine stain is an area of red or purple discoloured skin caused by an increase in blood flow just beneath the surface. Very small blood vessels (capillaries) under the skin are normally able to alter their diameter in response to changes in temperature. They can narrow (constrict) when exposed to cold and widen (dilate) in response to heat.
In a port wine stain, a genetic abnormality results in the capillaries remaining permanently dilated. The characteristic diffuse redness or blush is a result of massive numbers of dilated microscopic blood vessels so densely packed together that we are unable to see individual vessels and hence visualise a uniform blanket of redness.
A Port wine stain can occur anywhere on the body and usually affect just one side. 65% occur on the head and neck. It is a genetic abnormality that affects 3 in 1000 people and is twice as common in girls than boys.
In infancy, port wine stains are flat and pale pink in colour. Over time they mature and darken to a deep red or purple colour. A “cobblestone” appearance may develop as the lesion thickens.
Laser treatment with the Candela V Beam 595nm pulsed dye laser (PDL) is the gold standard treatment of choice. This advance laser can selectively destroy the dilated capillaries significantly fading unwanted redness and thickening.
Resistant port wine stains, including mature, blue, thickened lesions may require additional more complex treatments utilizing the Cynosure Cynergy 595nm Multiplex mode. This advanced procedure is described within the detailed section of this website.
Our expert medical team has in excess of 25 years laser experience and have completed more than 120,000 successful treatments. Rest assured you are in safe hands. All procedures at our Cambridge Laser Clinic are performed by fully qualified doctors, nurses and practitioners.
To ensure the highest ethical standards are maintained at all times, our staff are never offered bonus incentives to sell treatments.
Although medical laser clinics are no longer regulated by the CQC (Care Quality Commission), we continue to adhere to the strict standards that were in the past mandatory under government legislation. This is the best indicator currently available that our Cambridge Laser Clinic is trustworthy.
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