Birthmarks: What are they?

About 50% of all babies do not have smooth skin, but some spots on the skin. These can be pink / red, purple or brown in color. These are called birthmarks. Read which birthmarks the most preventable, how they look and whether they are dangerous.

What is a birthmark?

A birthmark is a spot on the skin of the baby where there is a skin abnormality. Birthmarks are caused by a clot of blood vessels, too many pigment cells or, for example, sebaceous glands. In most cases, a birth spot is harmless and disappears within a few years.

What types of birthmarks are there?

There are multiple types of birthmarks. Below you will find the most common:

  • Stork bite

    • How does it look?
      A stork bite has a red / pink color.
    • Where is it?
      The spots are on the head of your baby, such as the eyelids, forehead, neck or in the hairline on the back of the head. The stork bite can also sit under the skin of your child, in the first instance it is not visible to the naked eye. The spots can become extra visible if your baby makes an effort, such as during crying or pressing.
    • Cause?
      These birthmarks can be caused by swollen blood vessels.
    • Dangerous?
      A stork bite is completely innocent.
    • From when?
      The birthmarks become visible a few days after birth.
  • Strawberry stain

    • How does it look?
      A strawberry stain is red / pink in color and feels lumpy. It is on top of the skin and looks a bit like a strawberry. The size of the stain can differ, sometimes it is as small as a pimple and others grow into a stain of several centimeters. So a strawberry stain can grow and stand out.
    • Where is it?
      Mainly in the face or on the neck, but the birthmarks can also appear on other parts of the body.
    • Cause?
      The stain is caused by clots of blood vessels that accumulate in the skin.
    • Dangerous?
      Strawberry stains are harmless, it is only annoying that they can be pretty visible.
    • From when?
      The birthmarks become visible a few days after birth.
  • Wine stain

    • How does it look?
      As the name suggests: a wine stain is a bit like red wine and is red / purple in color. In dark children the spot may appear more black. The size can vary greatly depending on the child, some are small, others can cover half the face.
    • Where is it?
      Usually in the face or neck, but they can also appear elsewhere on the body.
    • Cause?
      A wine stain is a kind of pigment spot and is caused by the pigment of the skin deviating at that spot, just as with a birthmark or dark brown pigment spot.
    • Dangerous?
      Wine stains are not dangerous.
    • From when?
      The spots are often visible soon after birth.
  • Mongolian stain

    A Mongolian stain is also called archipelago and is mainly found in babies with dark skin, Asian babies and children from countries near the Mediterranean.

    • How does it look?
      The birthmarks look a bit like bruises and are therefore black / blue sometimes dark brown in color. The spots can be a few centimeters, but also grow into large areas with an irregular shape.
    • Where is it?
      Lower back, buttocks, sometimes also at the shoulders.
    • Cause?
      The spots are caused by the presence of pigment cells in the fat layer.
    • Dangerous?
      They are completely harmless.
  • Does a birthmark go away?

    Some birthmarks are permanent and others can disappear:

    • Stork bite

      The birthmarks on the eyelids and forehead are usually gone after a year. In the meantime they become lighter and lighter. If there are spots in the neck (in the hairline), it may be that they remain, but fortunately it grows over it.

    • Strawberry stain

      The majority will automatically disappear over the years. Most will be completely gone between 5 and 9 years. In about 10% of cases the stains remain permanent.

    • Wine stain

      A wine stain does not go away by itself, but can at least lighten a little lighter. It is possible to reduce the visibility of the stain by means of a treatment. You can ask your doctor what the possibilities are.

    • Mongolian stain

      After the first year of life, the spots become lighter and lighter. Most children are from the spots at the end of the kindergarten age (3-5 years old).

    Can you have a birthmark removed?

    In most cases it is not necessary to remove birth marks, as they disappear by themselves. Only a strawberry stain or wine stain can remain permanently visible. A strawberry stain can be treated, the doctor does in rare cases, for example when the stain is very disturbing. The treatment is not intensive.
    A wine stain can not be completely removed, but with a treatment it can be ensured that the stain is less visible. Always ask your doctor what the possibilities are for your child.

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