Port-wine stains are a type of capillary malformation affecting 0.3% to 0.5% of the population. Port-wine stains present at birth as pink to erythematous patches on the skin and/or mucosa. Without treatment, the patches typically darken with age and may eventually develop nodular thickening or associated pyogenic granuloma. Laser and light treatments provide improvement through selective destruction of vasculature. A variety of vascular-selective lasers may be employed, with the pulsed dye laser being the most common and well studied. Early treatment produces more optimal results. Advances in imaging and laser treatment technologies demonstrate potential to further improve clinical outcomes.
Keywords: capillary vascular malformation; intense pulsed light; laser; photodynamic therapy; port-wine stain; selective photothermolysis; vascular birthmark.