Birthmarks as the name suggests are marks that are present on our body since the day we are born or develop within a few weeks of our birth. Birthmarks vary in size, shape and color and can occur in any part of the body. These are usually harmless.
Although there are many superstitions associated with these marks, researchers are still trying to understand the causes of these marks so there is no strong evidence that can back their cause yet. There are two kinds of birthmarks i.e. vascular and pigmented birthmarks.
These are produced if blood vessels in a particular area of your body are not formed the way it should be formed. The different types of vascular birthmarks are:
- Salmon Patch Or Stork Bite
One of the most common vascular birthmarks, salmon patch or stork bite gets its name because of its red or pink color. Caused by a cluster of blood vessels, this birthmark generally occurs in the eye region (between eyes and eyelids), forehead and on the back of the neck.
- Port Wine Stain
Port wine stain birthmark is caused due to malformation of blood vessels. Unlike other birthmarks, these get darker and rough in texture with age. They usually occur in the face and the neck region.
Also called as strawberry naevus, Hemangiomas can occur in any part of the body. They may start as a flat shape but as the child grows older, they turn red and lumpy. Hemangiomas typically occur in the head and neck region and need to be removed should they threaten to impair a child’s vision or breathing.
These are produced by an overgrowth of pigment cells. These are the same cells that give your skin its natural color. The different kinds of pigmented birthmarks are:
Moles can occur in any part of the body and can be in pink, black or brown color. This birthmark is either flat or raised. These may or may not last a lifetime.
- Café Au Lait
The birthmark gets its name from a French word which translates to coffee with milk. As the name suggests, the birthmark is in pale brown color. They may also occur in any part of the body.
- Mongolian Blue Spots
These are bluish spots that look like a bruise and usually occur near the spine or buttocks region. These may also occur on the shoulders and side of the body. This birthmark is common among Asian children.
Can Birthmarks Be Removed?
Most of these birthmarks are harmless and therefore do not need any treatment. However some of them may be harmful or lower one’s confidence due to the way they affect the appearance. In such cases, one may opt for the following treatments to remove birthmarks:
One may visit a dermatologist’s clinic for a laser therapy to remove birthmarks. Lasers help lighten birthmarks significantly. Depending on the nature of your mark, your doctor will decide the number of sittings that will be required to lighten your birthmark.
Birthmarks like Hemangiomas and moles can be surgically removed by a dermatologist. Since it is a small procedure, the birthmark is removed under local anesthesia and the patient can go back home on the same day.
Certain oral medications can be taken under doctor’s guidance that can help control the inflammation or shrink the blood vessels which in turn reduces blood flow and lightens the mark.