Q: I am pregnant and have developed numerous red bumps on my skin. What are they and will they go away?
A: Pregnancy is a time when hormonal influences can cause blood vessel changes. Some women develop excessive numbers of spider angiomas. These are tiny dilated blood vessels found in the skin’s surface layer. They typically blanch when pressure is applied; when released, the blood returns rapidly. Many of these blood vessels regress after pregnancy, when hormone levels return to normal. If they don’t resolve, treatment is available to eradicate them. This includes injectable agents (sclerotherapy) and laser therapy.
Itching can often become severe during pregnancy – our practice is one of very few that have phototherapy. Phototherapy is a specialized wavelength of light (narrowband UVB) that can be used SAFELY in pregnancy for itching.
Q: My child was born with a port-wine stain on the side of his face. My doctor has referred him for an MRI of the brain. What is he looking for?
A: Approximately 5% of patients with port wine stains that extend onto both upper and lower eyelids are at risk for the involvement of the eye, the brain, and the meninges (thin membranes that surround the brain). When this occurs, a diagnosis of Sturge-Weber syndrome is made. This syndrome is associated with seizures, glaucoma (increased pressure in the eye), and developmental delays. An MRI can diagnose this condition. In such cases, consultations with a neurologist and ophthalmologist are recommended.