Port Wine Stains

Port wine stains (vascular birthmarks) are present from birth. They lie flat on the skin, are red or purplish in colour and are permanent. Port wine stains are thought to occur when the nerves that control the widening and narrowing of the tiny blood vessels beneath the skin (the capillaries) do not function properly, or there are not enough of them.

Unfortunately, port wine stains are permanent. The only treatment available for port wine stains is laser treatment.

This treatment is carried out using a narrow beam of light, which is shone onto a very small area of the skin (only a few millimetres in size). Each time this ‘dot’ of light touches the skin it’s absorbed by the red colour in the blood vessels that caused the port wine stain. This makes them lighter in colour.

Laser treatment cannot cure a port wine stain, but it may be effective in lightening or fading its appearance. Our skin therapists can advise you if this is the best approach for you and will explain what will happen in detail.


The number of treatments depends on location and number of the vessels to be treated. Generally, it ranges between 4-10 treatments. Our skin therapists during your free consultation will advise on the appropriate treatment and the number of treatments required. If you wish to have the treatment a patch test will be performed for just £50 which is redeemable from your first treatment.


No anaesthetics are required, and many patients describe the treatment as being like a snap from a rubber band followed by a sensation similar to the feeling of gentle sunburn.