A news anchor in Iowa is sharing sweet photos of her baby girl’s port-wine stain birthmark to document the toddler’s treatment.
KCCI’s Elizabeth Klinge loves to share photos of her 14-month-old daughter Hanalay, but the little girl has been through a lot in her short life.
Hanalay has a port-wine stain birthmark that covers a large portion of her face, so her parents made the decision early on to help make the mark less prominent.
Recently, Hanalay started undergoing her treatments, which are meant to reduce the discoloration and bumpiness of her skin over time.
Klinge then shared a few photos of a very sleepy Hanalay after going in for one of her treatments, and the adorable pictures instantly went viral.
“Thank-you for sharing these pictures,” Facebook user Nancy Jensen wrote. “A happy little trooper just like mom. Glad there are treatments but it breaks my heart thinking this little one as to go through all this.”
“What a cute little girl! Starting at 6 months of age, my daughter had 9 laser treatments on her port wine stain,” wrote Susie Colen Braverman, “it was on her right eyelid and forehead. It was so hard to put her through that. I know exactly what you’re going through. Hang in there.”
“Awesome!! My now 11 year old daughter had a very large hemagioma on her neck and head when she was born. We followed a similar course of treatment and it left with barely a trace. Some amazing doctors out there,” Cassie Mulholland added.
A port-wine stain, also known as a vascular birthmark, is an abnormal growth of blood cells that typically pops up around a baby’s face or neck.
“It’s a proliferation of blood vessels that look like spider veins gone crazy,” Dr. Stephen Mulholland, owner and medical director of SpaMedica in Toronto, told Global News. “On babies, port-wine stains are flat and pink, but if untreated, over time they get larger, lumpy and the skin thickens.”
While port-wine stains are not dangerous, some parents decide to have them removed while their children are still young.
In the past, doctors have been forced to use painful skin grafts to treat port-wine stain birthmarks, but today, laser treatments are used over time to remove the mark from the inside out.
“The treatment is totally safe for kids, although it can be a bit painful. We usually use a topical anaesthetic, and the laser has a cryogen spray that hits the skin a split second before the laser to help cool the area,” said Mulholland.