What Caused Woman's Mysterious Freckle Pattern?

Playing Woman Seeks Diagnosis for Mysterious Freckle Pattern

Why does Samantha have freckles on only half of her body!? She has baffled doctors for years – do The Doctors have the answer?

Samantha’s freckling pattern is quite dramatic. She is heavily freckled, but only on the right side of her body, with a clear border where the freckles suddenly end. Dermatologist Dr. Sonya Batra and Plastic Surgeon Dr. Andrew Ordon examine her and have the solution to the mystery!

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Samantha doesn’t have freckles at all, explains Dr. Batra. “This is called a speckled lentiginous nevus. It’s a very particular type of birthmark, which started when you were an embryo.” A mutation in a developing pigmentation cell spread as Samantha grew.

Dr. Batra explains that the pigment spots are deeper in the skin than a freckle would be. “When we treat it with a laser, we treat it almost like a tattoo,” she tells Samantha. Dr. Batra would use a short-pulse-width laser over multiple treatments to remove the speckles in a case like this.

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“I was teased a lot growing up and I get a lot of stares,” Samantha says. She’s ready to have the birthmark removed! Samantha dons goggles and the doctors set to work. “What we’re trying to do with the very short burst of energy is not just heat these pigment cells, but we’re also using almost like a photmechanical wave to break them up so her immune system can go in and clear those pigment cells out.”

It will take about six treatments to remove the pigment, and The Doctors arrange for Samantha to see a doctor local to her. Dr. Batra says that when she’s finished with treatment, Samantha’s birthmarks should be faded away.