Can The Birthmark On My Hand Be Removed?

Q:I have a light brown birthmark on my left hand. It is the shape of a thumb print. I am very self concious about this, and I would like it removed. Is this possible? If so, could I please receive information about the consultation & cost.

A: Thank you for your inquiry. Whether the brown mark on your hand can be removed is a function of whether it is an acquired skin discoloration or whether it is a congenital or birthmark skin lesion. That difference is significant as it indicates at what the level the excessive brown pigment exists in the skin. An acquired brown lesion develops because of chronic sun exposure and the excessive pigment is in the superficial layer of the skin. (epithelium and upper dermis) That can be treated quite successfully by pulsed light therapy such as BBL (broad band light) or IPL. (intense pulsed light) Brown birthmarks, however, usually have pigment that goes all the way through the thickness of the skin and involves the deeper dermis. These do not respond to any type of light or laser treatments because the discoloration is too deep to reach without burning the skin. In some cases, removal by excision can be done by that leaves the trade-off of a scar which is often not a better cosmetic result.

I would need to see a picture of your hand ‘birthmark’ before I could comment on whether any removal treatment is possible.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis Indiana