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New Guidelines Established for the Treatment of Vascular Birthmarks

Medical Organizations Unite to Create Best Practices for the Laser Treatment of Vascular Birthmarks.

By Andrea Alstad | Jul 13, 2023

Wausau, WI  When lasers are used to treat cutaneous vascular anomalies, including vascular birthmarks, settings vary based on skin type, vascular anomaly type, and location of the anomaly. A lack of guidelines has resulted in inconsistent settings and varied, sometimes adverse, outcomes. 

To address this, the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery (ASLMS) worked with the Vascular Birthmarks Foundation (VBF) and an international, multidisciplinary team to create a consensus of uniform guidelines for treating vascular birthmarks with laser therapy. The 32 guidelines were published in a booklet, ASLMS/VBF Laser Treatment Best Practices for Vascular Birthmarks. The guidelines, with supporting videos and links to peer-reviewed studies, are offered in a resource library on the ASLMS Online Learning Center and serve as a valuable educational tool for its members.

rozell-shannon-friedmanThe project was led by Paul M. Friedman, MD, 2022-23 ASLMS president, and Linda Rozell-Shannon, PhD, VBF founder and president.

“It is important to realize that just because someone is board certified does not mean they are skilled in treating all conditions or using all lasers. ASLMS offers resources and access to the best in the field with amazing continuing educational opportunities,” said Friedman. “While president of ASLMS, I sought to advance the mission and forge a partnership with the Vascular Birthmarks Foundation to create much-needed consensus guidelines to optimize laser treatments of cutaneous vascular anomalies.”

VBF is an international charitable organization that networks families affected by vascular birthmarks, anomalies, and/or related syndromes (VBARS) to the appropriate medical professionals for evaluation and treatment. VBF provides informational resources and sponsors physician education, mobilizes medical mission trips, and supports research and programs that promote acceptance for individuals with birthmarks.

“For decades, I have observed adverse outcomes from the improper laser treatment of vascular birthmarks. When Dr. Paul Friedman became president of the ASLMS, I knew we had our champion for the cause to establish uniform guidelines,” said Rozell-Shannon. “He did not disappoint. As a result of these guidelines, patient outcomes will be improved. VBF is very proud of this partnership with the ASLMS.”

For more information, visit ASLMS and Vascular Birthmark Foundation Joint Project.

The American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery, Inc. (ASLMS) is the largest multi-disciplinary professional organization dedicated to the development and application of lasers and related technology for health care applications. ASLMS promotes excellence in patient care by advancing biomedical application of lasers and other related technologies worldwide. ASLMS members include physicians, surgeons, nurses, and allied health professionals representing multiple specialties, physicists involved in product development, biomedical engineers, biologists, industry representatives, and manufacturers. For more information on the Society’s mission, vision, and leaders, visit ASLMS | About ASLMS


The American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery, Inc. is the world’s largest scientific organization dedicated to promoting research, education and high standards of clinical care in the field of medical laser applications. It provides a forum for the exchange of scientific information and participation in communicating the latest developments in laser medicine and surgery to clinicians, research investigators, government and regulatory agencies, and the public.

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