What causes Port-Wine Stains?
A port-wine stain is normally simply a birthmark. It is caused by a capillary malformation in the skin which is actually a vascular anomaly.
Port-wine stains do vary in size from millimeters to inches in a large patch which can cover almost half of ones face. Colors/pigmentation can range from a pale red to a very deep red or purple. Port-wine stains are not harmful but can tend to darken over the years.
Most occur on the face however, any area of the body can be affected. If left untreated, over the years the stain can become thickened and develop a lumpy stone-like appearance. This will usually begin the treatment process for a patient not wanting to live with this skin texture/tone.
The only treatment for port-wine stain is laser surgery. This treatment also has less risk of damaging the skin further, however, it can sometimes cause the pigment to darken or lighten more than normal which is usually only temporary.