Port Wine Stains On Babies - Causes, Symptoms & Treatments 

Port Wine Stains On Babies

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Does your baby have a reddish-purple mark on his face or hands? Is the skin of that area coarser than the rest of his skin? If you said yes then your little bundle of joy might be born with a birthmark called Nevus Flammeus or the Port Wine Stains. Read our post below, to learn all about the condition here.

What Are Port Wine Stains?

A port-wine stain is a birthmark, which leads to a skin discoloration. The skin turns reddish-purplish due to the swollen blood vessels beneath the surface of the skin.

Causes Of Port Wine Stains On Babies:

Nevus Flammeus or Port-wine stains occur when an area of the skin has an insufficient amount of nerve fibers. In some cases, the skin doesn’t get any nerve fiber at all. In normal skin blood vessels are narrow, but if there’s a lack of nerve fibers, then small blood capillaries expand to a ensure greater amount of blood flow into the blood vessels. Such birthmarks are also called vascular birthmarks.

Symptoms Of Port-Wine Stains On Babies:

Port-wine stains are usually flat and pink in appearance when in their early stages. However, the color becomes dark and the skin texture becomes hard as the baby gets older.

[ Read: Symptoms Of Cerebral Palsy In Babies ]

What Is The Prevention?

Port-wine stains cannot be prevented as they are by birth. Also, there is no particular reason for infants to be born with such birthmarks.

Potential Risks Of Port-Wine Stains On Babies:

Port wine birthmarks on babies are usually harmless that do not cause any problems or pain. However, they are sometimes, the harbingers of something sinister. Here, we list some common disorders that are accompanied with Port-Wine stains:

1. Sturge-Weber Syndrome:

If your baby has a port-wine stain near his eye or on the forehead then take him for a medical check-up and do not ignore it. That’s because such stains might be associated with a neurological disorder called Sturge-Weber Syndrome. The common symptoms of this syndrome are as follows:

  • Seizures
  • Developmental delays
  • Learning disabilities

2. Glaucoma:

Also, if he has a stain on the eyelids, then he might be at a risk of developing glaucoma. Glaucoma is caused due to increased pressure inside the eye. In extreme cases, it leads to blindness if left untreated for a prolonged time.

3. Klippel Trenaunay Syndrome:

If your baby has a large port wine stain on his arm or leg, then it might result in the extra growth of that limb in future. This syndrome is called Klippel Trenaunay syndrome.

4. Proteus Syndrome:

Port wine stains are also associated with Proteus syndrome. If your baby is suffering from this disease then you will observe extra growth in some parts of his body viz. Hands and knees, etc. The extra growth of the hands and knees affects the normal movement of that body part especially the joints (1).

[ Read: Epilepsy In Babies ]

Treating Port-Wine Stains On Babies:

If your baby has a Port Wine stain, then do not get upset. There are a lot of treatment options available these days viz. surgery, radiation, etc.

1. Laser Therapy:

Laser therapy is a good option if you want to go for port wine stain removal for infants. Laser therapy helps destroy the tiny blood vessels below the skin surface and does not damage the skin. However, which type of laser used depends on the person’s age and the type of port-wine stain. Also, you will need to take care of your baby’s skin after every laser sitting. You can go for a laser treatment only when your little one turns six to eight months old.

[ Read: Most Common Types Of Birthmarks ]

Did you also have a port wine stain newborn? Were these stains normal or were associated with some other medical condition? What treatment did your doctor suggest you? Share your story with other parents. Leave a comment below.

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  • sona

    My daughter is almost 20 months old and was born with port wine stains almost all over her body. It was a very difficult time for my husband and I, as the doctors were scaring us with all of the possibilities of what this could mean. Fast forward to today, a year and a half later, and she is just doing so well – so happy.