Birthmarks, like hair color and eye color, are traits that make each person unique. They’re sometimes caused by genetics, but more often, they just happen. Children sometimes feel self-conscious about their birthmarks but they’re just one more thing that makes us individuals.
- Birthmarks, as the name implies, are marks someone is born with.
- They can be raised or flat.
- Birthmarks come in many colors, including brown, black, pink, red, purple, or blue.
- Birthmarks fall into two categories: pigment birthmarks and vascular birthmarks.
- Pigment birthmarks are spots where the pigment in the skin has concentrated. Vascular birthmarks happen when blood vessels form in an odd pattern.
- Pigment birthmarks are most often small brown spots called café au lait birthmarks. They can be anywhere on the body. They often get smaller or fade as children grow.
- Mongolian spots are usually flat gray or bluish spots found on the lower back. They’re most commonly found in Asian or Mexican children and they fade or disappear over time.
- The most common type of vascular birthmark is a small, reddish streak or spot. These are often called angel’s kisses or stork’s bites.
- Hemangiomas are larger spots that are usually faint pink to deep red. They get larger and darker in the first few months of a child’s life and then fade or disappear.
- Port wine stains look like a glass of wine has been splashed across the skin. They are deep red to purple and usually occur on the face, legs, and arms. They often get larger or darker with age. They can be treated with laser.
- Genetic: something passed down by parents through their genes
- Unique: a characteristic that is different or special
Visit the American Academy of Dermatology to learn more about birthmarks.