Protecting your birthmark

In most cases, birthmarks just need looking after carefully.

Birthmarks after laser treatment 

The area treated with laser will seem bruised and may feel like mild sunburn. The skin is very fragile and needs gentle handling. Some lasers do not cause as much surface bruising, but your child's skin still needs care afterwards.

  • Bubble bath or soap should not be used while it is still bruised.
  • Sun block cream is essential to protect the skin after and during treatments of laser. You should use factor 30 or even better total sun block at all times in the UK from April to October. Sun block worn at least four times a day.
  • Camouflage cream should not be used for at least five days after treatment.


The haemangioma surface can be very delicate and dry, so avoid bubble bath, rinse any soap or shampoo off carefully and pat the area gently afterwards.

A thin layer of Vaseline® or other water resistant cream put gently over the haemangioma can stop it drying out. Also, use damp cotton wool as baby wipes can be irritating.

The sun can make haemangiomas temporarily swollen, so use a high factor sun cream, a hat to protect the face and/or an umbrella over the buggy or pushchair.

Bleeding haemangiomas
As blood vessels in a haemangioma are near the skin's surface, they can bleed if they are knocked or scratched. Keep both your nails and your children's nails short and buffed, to avoid scratching the surface.

If the birthmark starts to bleed, apply pressure on it with a clean handkerchief or cloth for at least five minutes. If blood soaks through, add another cloth on top and keep up the pressure. Don't take it off to have a look, as this could start the bleeding again.

If the bleeding continues even after pressing down for another five minutes, go to your nearest NHS Walk-In Centre or Accident and Emergency department.

Ulcerated haemangiomas
If the child's haemangioma develops an ulcer, it will need special attention until it heals. Keep the area clean by washing it twice a day, preferably in a bath or by pouring water over the area, and leave it to dry naturally. Once the area is dry, cover the whole haemangioma with a non-sticky dressing. These are available on prescription from your GP. 

Venous malformations

Venous malformations can be painful if knocked or if a clot has formed. Regular pain relief such as ibuprofen and paracetamol usually deal with the discomfort, but stronger medicines can be prescribed if needed.