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Birthmarks...

(41 Posts)
SodaFountain Sat 03-Aug-13 19:38:28

I've just read this article, sorry it's DM but was bored blush.

Anyway my point is that if this treatment is so painful maybe they should just stop??? DH has a huge birthmark on his face, his Mother made him go for laser treatment when he was a child which was excruciatingly painful, she eventually let him stop after he begged her. He now wonders why she couldn't just accept him the way he is.

SodaFountain Sat 03-Aug-13 19:39:29

Basically I feel it's peoples attitudes which need to change,m rather than finding treatments to make children's appearence more socially acceptable.

hiddenhome Sat 03-Aug-13 19:41:20

I'm sure that your dh was accepted by his mum, but she was probably concerned that people outside the family wouldn't feel the same way and perhaps she was trying to make things a bit easier for him.

It's a harsh world and we're all judged by our looks regardless of the rights and wrongs of that.

sheridand Sat 03-Aug-13 19:41:33

My first love had a huge strawberry mark over half his face and half his chest. It was beautiful, like a watermark. There wasn't anything wrong with it. I have a strawberry mark that covers half my skull, I didn't realise until my hair fell out due to illness. I also have a small one on my belly. They're me.

My kids have their own uniqueness, no birthmarksm vut dd has a weird ear, Iwouldn't dream of telling her to change it. It's just a pixie ear. We love it. So does she.

SodaFountain Sat 03-Aug-13 19:43:30

I've just asked him whether he would do the same thing for one of our DC, he says it hurts much more than a tattoo and that if it didn't bother him or our DC then why should it bother anyone else.

ForgetfulNameChanger Sat 03-Aug-13 19:44:59

In an ideal world people's attitudes would change. But until that happens what do people do? These parents can't control the comments people will make or the negative attitudes they will face so they may be changing the one thing they can control which is the birthmark. Probably not an easy choice.

SodaFountain Sat 03-Aug-13 19:47:32

TBH I think my experience having red hair has been harder than DH's having a birth mark! I've had some horrible abuse but my parents never dyed it.

Sirzy Sat 03-Aug-13 19:50:08

The parents feel that is what is best for their child, I am sure it is not a decision they made lightly. Why the need to judge their decisions? I don't think you can underestimate the effect such things could have on the childs confidence either.

I had a very large strawberry birthmark on the back of my head when I was a child and some of the comments from adults were disgusting. Thankfully although it is still there (even though my parents were told it would go by the time I was 4!) it has shrunk and is covered by my hair, because of the position of it it couldn't have been treated surgically (lasar wasn't an option then) but if it could have been my parents would have took that decision.

BrokenSunglasses Sat 03-Aug-13 19:50:28

My ds (13) has a facial birthmark, which is harmless. I've never wanted him to have treatment to remove it, but I have wondered whether I should have looked into getting it removed.

I worry that when he's older he will wish something had been done about it while he was still a child and blame me for any self consciousness he feels, but then I know if we did get it removed, I'd worry that he would think that I didn't love him just the way he is. We have let him know that he could have it removed if he wanted it done, but even that was difficult to do because I worried he'd think that we didn't accept or like that part of him.

It's a really difficult one for parents, and I'm sure the vast majority of parents that have to make a decision one way or another are just doing what they think is in the best interests of their child. Even when the child asks them to stop. If a parent really thinks they are doing the best thing, then it's no different to a child complaining about any other treatment they may need, like braces.

Rooners Sat 03-Aug-13 19:50:38

I haven't read the article, but I do have experience of laser treatment and it does hurt like Billy-ho. I can't imagine the pain if it was done to a child's face - their skin is thinner and I bet the technology wasn't as good back then, so it would have been really bloody sore.

It's far worse than a tattoo.
Poor DH. Maybe his mum didn't realise how much it hurt - she should try it, then she'd understand!

SodaFountain Sat 03-Aug-13 19:52:54

I know it's an incredibly painful, long term treatment. I feel the way I do about it because of DH's experience, He and I both think his mum was wrong for making this decision on his behalf.

huntersmum Sat 03-Aug-13 19:58:13

My daughter has a birthmark on her leg and it is quite noticeable when she wears a short skirt. She had four sessions of laser treatment and then gave up as she said the pain of the treatment was far worse than having a birthmark and to be honest I saw no improvement. She is 20 now, wears short skirts and shorts and never thinks about the mark.

SodaFountain Sat 03-Aug-13 19:59:48

I think laser treatment in a baby who has no choice in the matter and can't tell you how they feel is just cruel.

candycoatedwaterdrops Sat 03-Aug-13 20:34:51

I saw that article and thought the little girl was simply gorgeous, what a cutie pie! I have little knowledge of this sort of thing but is laser always for cosmetic reasons, can birthmarks not sometimes cause other symptoms?

CombineBananaFister Sat 03-Aug-13 21:05:29

My Ds has a large birthmark on his head, it's mostly hidden under his hair (his hair grows quicker here and darker-the doctors are fascinated, something to do with increased blood flow). He is also got red hair, and i don't give a shiny shit if it affects how anyone sees him-he's beautiful how he is. If it was so painful to have something altered that wouldn't physically affect/limit how you could cope with things or want to live your life it's ridiculous to change it in my eyes.

People are obsessed with appearances - i hate it. Maybe I am naive and he may get bullied for it or whatever so we can make those choices when he's older but he needs to know that I LOVE HIM and that he is perfect how he is in my eyes

Sirzy Sat 03-Aug-13 21:09:45

can birthmarks not sometimes cause other symptoms?

Mine used to puss and bleed a lot - I would literally be stuck to my bedsheets some morning but mine was particularly raised.

llittleyello Sat 03-Aug-13 21:18:09

I agree that it must be an incredibly difficult decision for the parents.

On the scant info available I don't think I would agree to the lazoring and would be cautious of the effect that undergoing such pain at the age of 2 and in the early years would have on development. Saying that what the do I know, I do not have all the medical and psyh information and it may be best done now rather than later (if at all).

MakeGlutenFreeHay Sat 03-Aug-13 21:28:57

I believe that strawberry marks - especially facial ones - can actually be quite dangerous if they are still growing (as the article mentions hers is). I read about it when dd was brown as I was researching birthmarks. As well as having a strawberry mark (now nearly gone) she has a rare mark on her bum, called a mastocytoma - and overgrowth of histamine producing mast cells. It worried the heck out of us when she was tiny and foxed the drs as this mark kept going red and blistering! Basically was a localised allergic reaction if it was rubbed or sat on (tricky not to, given where it is!).

I'll see if I can find a link about the strawberry marks. I can't believe they'd do this unless it was necessary.

MakeGlutenFreeHay Sat 03-Aug-13 21:32:50

(Taken from Wikipedia, so how ever many pinches of salt you want - but there are other sources)

The vast majority of hemangiomas are not associated with complications. Hemangiomas may break down on the surface, called ulceration. If the ulceration is deep, significant bleeding may occur in rare occasions. Ulceration on the deeper area can be painful and problematic. If a hemangioma develops in the larynx, breathing can be compromised. A hemangioma can grow and block one of the eyes, causing an occlusion amblyopia. Very rarely, extremely large hemangiomas can cause high-output heart failure due to the amount of blood that must be pumped to excess blood vessels. Lesions adjacent to bone can also cause erosion of the bone.

So, given that its around her eyes - and she has problems anyway - and she also has problems with her heart, perhaps it's a medical necessity that they control its growth? Poor girl though, must be rough on her.

HollyBerryBush Sat 03-Aug-13 21:38:00

He and I both think his mum was wrong for making this decision on his behalf.

Parents make best judgement at the time. Would you leave everything as nature intended? A cleft ? a curved spine? a tied tongue? Club foot? of course you wouldn't, you would take medical advice and make a judgement accordingly.

In an ideal world people would be accepted no matter how they look however we are in a cosmetic and aesthetic culture, and in order to make people fit in with those round them, ears will be pinned back, braces put on teeth and yes, birthmarks erased.

TheBookofRuth Sat 03-Aug-13 21:41:01

DD has a strawberry birthmark right in the middle of her forehead, like a natural bindhi. I rather like it, and think it adds to her beauty.

I know how cruel kids can be, though, and worry about her getting picked on when she's older. Thing is though - if it's not that, it'll be something else. I see it as my job as her parent to give the self-confidence to be able to deal with it, rather than teach her she needs to change herself to for in.

TheBookofRuth Sat 03-Aug-13 21:41:27

Fit in, even.

it's not really the same as a club foot or cleft palate etc though is it? those are operated on under general, so not distressing for the child or painful long term. this is quite different

I have also read, as someone else posted, that it can cause further problems so it might not just be that they are choosing to do this for aesthetic reasons

HollyBerryBush Sat 03-Aug-13 21:56:55

No apologies for the DM, but the pictures are harrowing of this little girl before she was lasered

www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2384053/Toddler-Matilda-Callaghan-2-treats-severe-birthmark-laser-therapy.html

When she was born she had a dark purple mark down the side of her face, which initially doctors thought was a bruise.
But then half an hour later, they broke the devastating news to the couple that it was a birthmark.
Two weeks later she was diagnosed with a condition called Sturge Weber Syndrome, a rare neurological and skin disorder. It causes learning difficulties, paralysis and seizures.

CMOTDibbler Sat 03-Aug-13 21:57:34

My friends ds has a very large port wine stain birth mark on his face. He's had laser treatment since he was 2 as it was very dark and goes right up to his eye which can cause issues.
Till he was 16 the laser was done under general anaesthetic, and since then with emla. Its apparently not painful after even though he has a very large area done.

This has lightened it enough that he can cover it up if he chooses - he doesn't all the time, but wants the choice.

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