Birthmarks

Birthmarks

The Condition

Birthmarks are blemishes on the skin, either discolored and/or raised, formed before birth which is a direct result of either malformed blood vessels or malformed pigment cells. Birthmarks are usually grouped into one of two categories: Vascular Lesions and Pigmented Lesions.

Vascular Lesions are birthmarks resulting from malformed blood vessels, either from becoming enlarged (port-wine stains), or from having too many blood vessels in one area (hemangiomas). Vascular Lesions usually have red and blue/grey colors against the rest of the skin.

Pigmented Lesions are birthmarks resulting from malformed pigment cells which are usually brown in color. Excess melanin, the substance giving skin its color, is the one that causes Pigmented Lesions.

Treatments Available

  • Pigment-specific Laser Treatment
  • Vascular-specific Laser Treatment
  • Carbon Dioxide Laser Treatment
  • Chemical Peel

FAQs

What are birthmarks?

Birthmarks are areas of discolored skin that are on a baby's body at birth or can appear within a few weeks after birth. Some birthmarks may endure for life, while others can fade away over time.

What is a hemangioma?

Hemangioma is one of the most common types of birthmarks. These happen when many new blood vessels group together in one place on the skin.

What is a port-wine stain?

A port-wine stain is another type of hemangioma. It is an area of skin that is either maroon or dark red. It gets its name from port wine, a kind of wine that is dark maroon in color. Children who have port-wine stains usually have them on the face and neck.

Are birthmarks ever serious?

Most of the birthmarks are harmless, and many go away on their own in the first few years of life, without treatment. But there are a few exceptions. In fact, about 40,000 us children a year have birthmarks that need medical attention. So it is important to have all birthmarks checked out by a doctor.