Did you know all birthmarks are congenital even though they aren’t always visible at birth and may appear a few weeks or months after a baby is born? If your baby has birthmarks, in most cases, you don’t have to worry, because they are probably harmless. In most cases, birthmarks are not cancerous.
A birthmark can appear anywhere on the skin and will vary in shape, size, and color. It’s not uncommon for birthmarks to change in appearance over time. They are often permanent, but can also fade away. Some children start out with visible birthmarks, which eventually disappear completely.
There are two different types of birthmarks:
When there is more pigment in one area of the skin than others, you get a pigmented birthmark. Pigmented birthmarks include moles, café au lait spots, and Mongolian blue spots.
- Moles are pink, light brown, or black in color and generally appear in a round shape. Some moles can last forever while others fade with time. If a mole changes in color or size, it’s important to get it checked out as moles can become cancerous.
- Café au Lait Spots are pale, oval shaped birthmarks that are light brown in color. However, if your skin color is darker, your café au lait spot will be darker, as well. This type of birthmark can appear at any point during childhood. The birthmarks are known to fade, but can grow larger in size sometimes. If a child has several café au lait spots, it might indicate a rare medical condition called neurofibromatosis.
- Mongolian blue spots are flat birthmarks that generally appear on the lower back or buttocks. They tend to fade away by the time a child begins school.
When a group of blood vessels form in the same area, they can appear as a cluster on the skin. They are referred to ask vascular birthmarks. Some forms of vascular birthmarks include port-wine stains, salmon patches, and hemangiomas.
- Port-Wine Stains are pink or red in color and often appear on the face. If they are left untreated, they can get darker in dark red or purple tones. If this type of birthmark is on the eyelids, it may need treatment.
- Salmon Patches are pink or red colored spots that commonly form on the face or on the back of the neck. This type of birthmark doesn’t need treatment and generally fades away on its own.
- Hemangiomas are small and flat birthmarks but can grow in size. Most hemangiomas fade away on their own by the time a child reaches middle school. However, if a child has a lot of hemangiomas, they should be checked by a doctor because there is a chance that the child may have internal hemangiomas, as well.
Birthmark Treatment in Florida
If your baby has a birthmark and you want to find out if it needs treatment, visit the experts at Children’s Skin Center Pediatric and Adult Dermatology. Our dermatologists are experienced in diagnosing and treating all types of skin conditions, including birthmarks that need treatment.
To make an appointment, call (305) 669-6555. You can also request an appointment online.