The 595-nm pulsed dye laser (PDL) is one of the newest developments in the treatment for port-wine stains (PWS). The aim of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of the treatment of PWS in Chinese patients using the 595-nm PDL. In total, 184 patients with PWS over the face, neck and trunk or limbs were enrolled in the study. All the patients were treated with the 595-nm PDL 3–6 times, with a 4-week interval between each treatment. Treatment parameters varied for each patient according to the colour and location of the PWS. The efficacy of treatments and any side-effects were evaluated. Results were graded as percentage resolution (0–25%, 25–50%, 50–75% and 75–100%). Of the 184 patients who completed the study, 115 (62.5%) achieved excellent improvement, 38 (20.7%) achieved good results, and 31 (16.8%) had an unsatisfactory outcome (moderate and poor response). We found > 75% improvement for 76% of facial PWS (95/125), 43% of neck PWS and 20.8% of trunk or limb PWS. Pain and topical erythema were commonly reported immediately after the laser treatments. Prominent hyperpigmentation occurred in only 11 cases (6.0%) with poor improvement, and resolved within 6 months. The 595-nm PDL appears to be safe, effective and well tolerated in the treatment of PWS in Chinese patients.