Is it true that numbing cream decreases the efficiency of the laser treatment? - Vascular Birthmarks Foundation Forum
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Old 09-03-2008, 07:18 AM
snoop snoop is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 5
Default Is it true that numbing cream decreases the efficiency of the laser treatment?


Our child is 19 month old, after 6 treatments for facial PWS (on his left cheek) with no GA.
We do see some improvement, but it goes very very slowly.
I heard some opinion saying that the numbing cream might decrease the treatment efficiency. In order to have the treatments without numbing the area we would have to put him through GA. I would like to here from your experience or knowledge.

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Old 09-06-2008, 05:00 AM
hankbartenbach hankbartenbach is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 538


In some cases that is true. It varies person to person and the extent of their PWS.

I have used a couple different creams some work better then others. Some are not reccomended for child unless made in low dosages.

Regardless of numbing cream or not laser treatment will take a very long time and in some cases is not going to ever completely remove a birthmark. It might help the birthmark from getting worse, but every person is different.

In my case I have a deep PWS on my face. I am 26 years old and started laser treatment when I was 5 years old, have had 3 plastic surgeries, and I still have most of my PWS.

Darker the PWS is the harder it will be to remove with or without numbing cream. If you would like to see pictures of when I had treatment and surgeries my website is

Like I said earlier laser treatment will take time. If you are seeing improvements already after six treatments then you have made good progress. What type of laser are you using. My favorite out of the four different lasers I have used is the V-Beam Pulse Dye Laser and is safe on young children.
I would find out from your doctor what settings he or she is using and talk about options. Ever doctor is going to be different in how comfortable they are with the machine. Most will not go to stronger settings with younger children because of the chance of scarring.

I hope this helps a little.

I am sure other parents will chime in soon.

If you have any other questions you can either email me or ask here on the support group.

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Old 10-05-2008, 09:26 AM
snoop snoop is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2008
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Thanks Hank for your reply.
We talked to our doctor about this and he explained us that although the numbing cream does have some negative effect on the treatment, the fact that the child is crying throughout the treatment (don't worry, it takes less then a minute :-)) overcomes this problem since the crying increases the blood flow in the area.
Moreover, the GA also has some negative effect since the child is lying totally relaxed and still.
Since we must choose for a child a painless way to do the treatment, it doesn't really matter which way we choose (referring only this aspect, of course)

It's not always true that the darker the PWS is the harder it will be to remove it. In our case the PWS is not dark at all but very stubborn...
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