Port wine stain birthmarks may cause a multitude of emotional problems in children if they are sensitive about their appearance. Thankfully, parents can take a unique step—making the stain fun—to stave off the need for treatment. However, removal is often the best option for children who can't overcome their anxiety.
Port Wine Stains May Make Children Anxious
Port wine stains may trigger anxiety in many children because of the prominence the birthmark may have on their face. Even if their peers don't tease them for the mark, many children still feel self-conscious or struggle to accept it. Unfortunately, this kind of appearance anxiety can be hard for many children to shake and could last well into their adulthood.
However, parents who take proactive steps and work to help a child understand that their port wine stain is not something to be ashamed of having but can, instead, be something that's handsome or even fun. This approach requires a child with the right temperament and personality—basically, someone who trusts their parents and who is willing to see things from a different angle.
Make Port Wine Stains "Fun" to Manage Anxiety
Parents may not understand how they can make a port wine stain "fun" for a child. Though this process is tricky, it focuses on making the birthmark not a sign of shame but of pride. For example, parents can play a game in which they tell the child that the birthmark is a special emblem or mark, like with Harry Potter, and get them to engage their imagination.
And when their peers ask them about their birthmark, the child can give them a fun and imaginative answer that helps to make the situation easier for everyone to handle. Eventually, the children in the child's peer group will come to understand the birthmark and appreciate the way the child with the birthmark makes it more fun.
Schedule Treatment When Necessary
Though this approach may work with imaginative children, some may not get into it as well as others. For example, very sensitive children may have a hard time believing that their port wine stain is, in any way, fun. They may resent the birthmark and their parent's attempts to make it a more relaxed situation. In this scenario, parents should consider treatment.
Laser surgery can carefully remove a port wine stain and decrease its appearance on a child's body. In many cases, several treatments can decrease the stain to the point where it is nearly impossible to see. This benefit is huge for children who struggle to see any joy in their birthmark or who suffer from endless teasing from their peers.
So please don't hesitate to contact a port wine stain treatment specialist to learn more about the many options available. These treatment choices can help a child overcome the appearance of their birthmark and feel more happy about their appearance.