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If your child’s capillary malformation has no underlying complications, it can be left untreated, or it can be lightened using pulsed dye laser therapy.
A pulsed dye laser destroys the abnormal blood capillaries. Pulsed dye laser is the gold standard of treatment for capillary malformations because it’s highly effective, doesn't damage the surrounding skin and rarely causes scarring.
Every capillary malformation responds differently to laser therapy. Laser therapy usually succeeds in lightening the stain, but doesn't make it go away completely.
In the rare case that a capillary malformation is a sign of an underlying condition, we’ll refer him to the appropriate vascular anomalies specialists to design a treatment plan that addresses the underlying issue as well as the capillary malformation.
We recommend starting treatment when a child is an infant. At this time, the stain is still small and so it’s much easier to treat. Pulsed dye laser therapy will work in older children, though it may require more treatments.
Capillary malformations are chronic conditions, but have very few long-term risks. It will grow as your child grows, but rarely do they cause any serious health problems
If your child undergoes pulsed dye laser therapy, your care team will devise a schedule of follow-up care to check on the effectiveness of the laser therapy and decide whether more treatments are necessary.
We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”