Birthmarks are common skin color abnormalities that appear at or soon after birth. While most birthmarks are benign, some people prefer to remove them for cosmetic reasons. If you have a spot you’re unhappy with, using birthmark creams might sound like an appealing way to fade it on your own. Unfortunately, over-the-counter creams that claim to remove birthmarks are often ineffective at best and cause skin injuries at worst.
The highly-skilled, board-certified dermatologists at Hollywood Dermatology & Cosmetic Specialists use the safest, most advanced treatments to remove birthmarks. Here’s what you need to know about birthmark removal methods.
Is It Safe to Remove a Birthmark At Home?
Many over-the-counter birthmark removal creams purport to fade patches of extra pigmentation, but these claims are rarely backed up. These products are often skin lighteners (AKA bleaching creams) containing ingredients like retinoic acid, kojic acid, or hydroquinone. You should also use caution when buying birthmark removal creams from outside the United States, as some skin lighteners contain mercury, a dangerous ingredient that isn’t FDA-approved.
In the best-case scenario, the ingredients in birthmark removal creams may reduce some discoloration. However, many birthmark removal creams can also make you more susceptible to sun damage or cause hypopigmentation (a loss of skin pigment) that makes the treated area look more uneven.
While hydroquinone can be an effective treatment for hyperpigmentation conditions like melasma, there are also side effects and risks you should speak to a dermatologist about first to determine if it’s right for you. Additionally, many natural so-called remedies for birthmarks, like applying lemon juice to lighten the spot, are ineffective and can lead to skin irritation.
Ultimately, it’s best to leave birthmark removal to your dermatologist. You’ll save yourself money on snake oil creams, avoid damaging your skin, and receive birthmark treatment that truly works.
Can a Birthmark Be Removed by a Dermatologist?
Over-the-counter removal creams are ineffective, but fortunately, a dermatologist can remove or significantly fade birthmarks. Effective options include:
- Light or laser treatments for birthmarks: CO2 laser resurfacing or IPL treatments can fade and eliminate birthmarks by targeting hyperpigmentation or redness.
- Medications: Beta-blockers or corticosteroids shrink blood vessels and minimize the appearance of strawberry marks (haemangiomas).
- Surgery or shaving: Birthmark excision can usually be done in a doctor’s office under local anesthesia.
Hollywood Dermatology’s board-certified dermatologists can recommend the best birthmark removal method for you after an examination.
Schedule Your Birthmark Removal Consultation
If you’re ready to say goodbye to your birthmark, call 954-961-1200 to book a removal consultation with a qualified dermatologist at Hollywood Dermatology & Cosmetic Specialists. We have five convenient locations in Pembroke Pines, Hallandale, Miramar, Doral, and Hollywood, Florida.