Port wine stain in your skin

If you have a port-wine stain in your skin, you will have had it all your life already. You are born with it. But why do certain people have this stain and from what does it originate? Many people have it as a little or bigger shape mostly occurring in the neck or on the face. Almost half a percent of the world population has it which means that fife out of a thousand persons has it. Most famous politician is of course the former Soviet-Union president Michail Gorbatsjov. 

 

Nevus Flammeus explained

The port-wine stain is also called the Nevus Flammeus and is a local deformation of the blood vessels in the skin. Those have a bigger diameter then the other part of the skin so it can host more blood in it. This results in the typical pink, red or dark red skin color. Why one person gets this condition and someone else doesn't is unclear as it is not genetically determined. The stain can result in different shades of red form pink till purple colorations. When the person gets older the blood vessels will widen further so that a pink birthmark will gradually change into deep purple at later age. 

 

The Sturge-Weber Syndrome

Related to the stain is the Sturge-Weber Syndrome. This is a rare condition which inflicts one out of two hundred thousand people. The vessels are to small causing the head getting insufficient blood. It can result in pressure on the eyeball, hemangiomas (benign vessel concrescence) on the skin and in the brain. It can give cause for epileptic attacks and atrophy (body material and organs gradually will waste away). It is unclear how this syndrome is caused and there is no treatment for it. 

 

You can treat the port-wine stain

There is the possibility to treat the stains with laser beams. Locally the blood vessels will be heated due to which the diameter will get less. This means that there can flow less blood through this part of the skin so that the coloration can retreat as well. The treatment has shown to bring good results but it isn't ruled out that the stain will return. Combining this with good use of cosmetics can make the stain complete invisible.

 

Psychological effect of it

Because the stain occurs many times in the face or neck (or both) it can have a great impact on someone’s live. Unaware will people be looking at you in a strange way or act differently than they do with others. This can have influence on the psychological condition. Sometimes the person doesn't think badly of it as they have grown up with it, but it can also be a burden for life. Having a laser treatment can give great results so that life can be experienced more pleasantly.