My daughter was born with a red/pink birthmark covering part of her knee and thigh. We didn't think about it much until we saw a pediatrician who seemed alarmed, told us that it was a port wine stain and that we should "keep an eye on it" because the leg might grow larger than the other leg and it might need laser treatment. We think that the mark has actually gotten lighter since she was born.. and previously, doctors had just looked at it and not said much, another doctor (in the same pediatric group) even told us that it looked like a salmon patch and might fade away.
Now, of course, I'm terrified and reading about port wine stains and getting more terrified. There's all this info that says that it's important to treat during infancy to avoid progression. At the same time, I can't find that there's any clear diagnostic criteria between port wine stains and salmon patches. It seems like the only way to tell is to wait and see if it gets worse.. but if I wait until it gets worse to treat it, the chances of successful treatment decrease.. so.. what to do?
I'm tempted to ask at our ped. appointment next week for a referral to a pediatric dermatologist.. but that's going to cost us a lot of $$ and I'd hate to spend the $$ just to be told "there's no way to tell what it is at this point and we'll just have to keep an eye on it".. while, of course, on the other hand, I don't want to be a negligent parent and miss a chance to treat something that could become a serious problem for my daughter when she's an adult.
The real problem is that I don't know anything about vascular birthmarks other than what I've read online and it's very difficult to relate this internet info to the actual splotch on my daughter's leg.. so I'm posting a picture and hoping that someone with more experience than I can offer some insight.
I'm also going to make sure to see the most experienced doctor in our pediatric group at our appointment next month.. and pump him for information about the subject before making any final decisions on the dermatology appointment. I will certainly value the perspective of a doctor who has been there to see many birthmarked children grow up.. It's hard being a parent!!