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I have a cafe de lait birthmark (based on my own identification) at a visible area which I would like to seek treatment to remove it. I understand that both dermatologist and certain GP are able to offer laser treatments for removal of the birthmark. I am hoping to spend minimally. I am wondering if it is important to seek treatment from a dermatologist instead of a GP? What are the associated risk if I seek GP and would the end result differ significantly? I conceive that the treatment is done by the same type of laser machine, the end result would not differ significantly. Please enlighten me with advice. Thanks
Cafe au lait macules are birthmarks and are benign.
Laser treatments can be used to treat it. There are different lasers that can be used. However, usually multiple treatments are required and complete clearance may not be achievable in all cases as treatment response may vary with individuals. Furthermore, the recurrence risk is also very high. For these reasons, you should discuss this carefully with your doctor before starting treatment.
You can see a dermatologist/ aesthetic GP or doctor experienced in laser treatment.
Dr Colin Theng
Thank you for your question. Cafe au lait macules are difficult to remove and can behave unpredictably with treatment. Different wavelength Q-switch lasers have achieved moderate success with their removal. The latest picosecond lasers are touted to have more success.
Any certified doctor with the necessary laser license and laser will be able to help you treat cafe au lait macules: including, dermatologist, aesthetic GPs or plastic surgeons.
Even with the same type of machine, there are different settings and different operator competencies. I would advise you to find a doctor that you trust and proceed carefully with the treatment.
Hope this helps.