Protecting your birthmark
In most cases, birthmarks just need looking after carefully.
Birthmarks after laser treatment
The area treated with laser will seem bruised and may feel like
mild sunburn. The skin is very fragile and needs gentle handling.
Some lasers do not cause as much surface bruising, but your child's
skin still needs care afterwards.
- Bubble bath or soap should not be
used while it is still bruised.
- Sun block cream is essential to protect the
skin after and during treatments of laser. You should use factor 30
or even better total sun block at all times in the UK from
April to October. Sun block worn at least four times a day.
- Camouflage cream should not be used for
at least five days after treatment.
The haemangioma surface can be very delicate
and dry, so avoid bubble bath, rinse any soap or shampoo off
carefully and pat the area gently afterwards.
A thin layer of Vaseline® or other water resistant cream put
gently over the haemangioma can stop it drying out. Also, use damp
cotton wool as baby wipes can be irritating.
The sun can make haemangiomas temporarily swollen, so use a high
factor sun cream, a hat to protect the face and/or an umbrella over
the buggy or pushchair.
As blood vessels in a haemangioma are near the skin's
surface, they can bleed if they are knocked or scratched. Keep both
your nails and your children's nails short and buffed, to avoid
scratching the surface.
If the birthmark starts to bleed, apply pressure on it with a
clean handkerchief or cloth for at least five minutes. If blood
soaks through, add another cloth on top and keep up the pressure.
Don't take it off to have a look, as this could start the bleeding
If the bleeding continues even after pressing down for another
five minutes, go to your nearest NHS Walk-In Centre or Accident and
If the child's haemangioma develops an ulcer, it will need
special attention until it heals. Keep the area clean by washing it
twice a day, preferably in a bath or by pouring water over the
area, and leave it to dry naturally. Once the area is dry, cover
the whole haemangioma with a non-sticky dressing. These are
available on prescription from your GP.
Venous malformations can be
painful if knocked or if a clot has formed. Regular pain relief
such as ibuprofen and paracetamol usually deal with the discomfort,
but stronger medicines can be prescribed if needed.