Port Wine Stains (Skin Camouflage) – Information for GPs
A port wine stain is a flat red or purple patch with well-defined borders caused by malformed dilated blood vessels in the skin.
It is present at birth and 0.3% of new-borns are affected.
The face is most commonly involved but it can occur anywhere on the body.
Exclude Red Flag Symptoms
- Sturge-Weber syndrome – port wine stain affecting skin in distribution of trigeminal nerve associated with underlying epilepsy, glaucoma or other eye complications.
- Klippel-Trenaunay – rare syndrome with port wine stain on the limb with increased limb size and varicose veins. Associated with other developmental abnormalities and an increased incidence of DVT and PE.
- Facial lesions should be referred early to Dermatology
- To consider the possibility of an associated syndrome
- To discuss laser treatment which can successfully treat or improve the appearance.
- Lesions on or near the eyelid should be referred to Ophthalmology, as these are associated with glaucoma.
- Cosmetic camouflage is very good at hiding lesions and is available from Changing Faces.
- Further information is also available at The British Association of Skin Camouflage at http://www.skin-camouflage.net
Information to include in referral letter
- Size and site of lesion
- Photograph is required. (Preferably a close up of the complete lesion and one from a distance providing an anatomical overview of the affected area)
- Any associated symptoms e.g. epilepsy
- Relevant past medical/surgical history
- Current regular medication
- BMI/Smoking status
Investigations prior to referral
- No investigations needed prior to referral