The majority of birthmarks do not require treatment, but in some cases treatment is necessary when a birthmark impedes breathing, speech or movement, or when the birthmark is large and leads to self-consciousness and emotional trauma. This happens most often with vascular birthmarks, which result from a malformation of capillaries and blood vessels near the skin.
Types of Birthmarks That Require Treatment
The birthmark most likely to require treatment is a hemangioma. These red birthmarks typically appear slightly after birth and can grow rapidly and become quite large. If they grow quite large and are located on the face, they can interfere with breathing and eating. Hemangiomas can be treated with lasers, but sometimes require surgery to remove them.
Cost and Insurance
Depending upon the type of treatment necessary, the cost of treatment can be relatively low or quite high--up ro thousands of dollars if a hospital stay is necessary. However, since hemangiomas are often treated because they have caused specific problems, insurance will often cover this medically necessary treatment.
Many other birthmarks are treated for purely cosmetic reasons. Port wine stains, for example, can cause large, rough areas on the skin that are uncomfortable and unattractive. Laser treatment for this type of birthmark might not be covered by insurance if it is judged to be a cosmetic treatment.
As with many cosmetic treatments, most cosmetic surgeons will provide financing through an independent company or can make arrangements with you to make payments on the cost of treatment. Financing typically provides fairly reasonable terms, but be sure to read through all information regarding the financing arrangements to be sure interest rates are not prohibitively high and that other terms are acceptable.
Before deciding on any other financing option, be sure to consult with your insurance company. Different companies have different policies, and it is possible that your policy will cover treatment of some types of birthmarks.