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A birthmark is a
congenital A birth defect, also known as a congenital disorder, is a condition present at birth Birth is the act or process of bearing or bringing forth offspring, also referred to in technical contexts as parturition. In mammals, the process is initiate ...
,
benign {{Unreferenced, date=June 2019, bot=noref (GreenC bot) Benignity (from Latin ''benignus'' "kind, good", itself deriving from ''bonus'' "good" and ''genus'' "origin") is any condition that is harmless in the long run. The opposite of benignity is ...
irregularity on the
skin Skin is the layer of usually soft, flexible outer tissue covering the body of a vertebrate animal, with three main functions: protection, regulation, and sensation. Other cuticle, animal coverings, such as the arthropod exoskeleton, have differ ...

skin
which is present at
birth Birth is the act or process of bearing or bringing forth offspring, also referred to in technical contexts as parturition. In mammals, the process is initiated by hormones which cause the muscular walls of the uterus to contract, expelling the fe ...

birth
or appears shortly after birth—usually in the first month. They can occur anywhere on the skin. Birthmarks are caused by overgrowth of
blood vessel The blood vessels are the components of the circulatory system The circulatory system, also called the cardiovascular system or the vascular system, is an organ system that permits blood to circulate and transport nutrients (such as amino ...
s,
melanocyte Melanocytes are melanin Melanin (; from el, μέλας ''melas'', "black, dark") is a broad term for a group of natural pigments found in most organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ὀργανισμός, ''org ...
s,
smooth muscle Smooth muscle is an involuntary non-striated muscle Striated muscle tissue is a muscle tissue Muscle tissue is a soft tissue that composes muscles in animal bodies, and gives rise to muscles' ability to contract. It is also referred to as myo ...

smooth muscle
,
fat In nutrition Nutrition is the biochemical Biochemistry or biological chemistry, is the study of chemical processes within and relating to living organisms. A sub-discipline of both chemistry and biology, biochemistry may be divided ...

fat
,
fibroblast A fibroblast is a type of biological cell The cell (from Latin ''cella'', meaning "small room") is the basic structural, functional, and biological unit of all known organisms. Cells are the smallest units of life, and hence are often referre ...

fibroblast
s, or
keratinocyte Keratinocytes are the primary type of cell Cell most often refers to: * Cell (biology), the functional basic unit of life Cell may also refer to: Closed spaces * Monastic cell, a small room, hut, or cave in which a monk or religious recluse ...
s.
Dermatologist Dermatology is the branch of medicine dealing with the skin.''Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary.'' Random House, Inc. 2001. Page 537. . It is a speciality with both medical and surgical aspects. A List of dermatologists, dermatologist ...
s divide birthmarks into two types: pigmented birthmarks and vascular birthmarks. Pigmented birthmarks caused by excess skin pigment cells include: moles,
café au lait spot ''Café au lait'' spots, or ''café au lait'' macules, are flat, hyperpigmented birthmarks. The name '' café au lait'' is French for "coffee with milk" and refers to their light-brown color. Café au lait lesions with rough borders (“coast of M ...
s, and Mongolian spots. Vascular birthmarks, also called red birthmarks, are caused by increased blood vessels and include macular stains (salmon patches),
hemangioma A hemangioma or haemangioma is a usually benign vascular tumor derived from blood vessel cell types. The most common form is infantile hemangioma, known colloquially as a "strawberry mark", most commonly seen on the skin at birth or in the first we ...
s, and
Port-wine stain A port-wine stain (''nevus flammeus'') is a discoloration of the human skin caused by a vascular anomaly (a capillary malformation in the skin). They are so named for their coloration, which is similar in color to port wine, a fortified wine, fo ...
s. A little over 1 in 10 babies have a
vascular The blood vessels are the components of the circulatory system The circulatory system, also called the cardiovascular system or the vascular system, is an Biological system, organ system that permits blood to circulate and transport nutrien ...
birthmark present by age 1. Several birthmark types are part of the group of skin
lesion A lesion is any damage or abnormal change in the tissue of an organism, usually caused by disease or Trauma (medicine), trauma. ''Lesion'' is derived from the Latin ''laesio'' "injury". Lesions may occur in plants as well as animals. Types The ...
s known as
nevi Nevus (plural nevi) is a nonspecific medical term for a visible, circumscribed, chronic lesion A lesion is any damage or abnormal change in the tissue of an organism, usually caused by disease or Trauma (medicine), trauma. ''Lesion'' is derive ...

nevi
or naevi, which is
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became ...

Latin
for "birthmarks". Birthmarks occur as a result of a localized imbalance in factors controlling the development and
migration Migration, migratory, or migrate may refer to: Human migration * Human migration, physical movement by humans from one region to another ** International migration, when peoples cross state boundaries and stay in the host state for some minimum len ...

migration
of
skin cell Skin is the layer of usually soft, flexible outer tissue covering the body of a vertebrate Vertebrates () comprise all species of animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular eukaryotic organisms that form the Kingdom (biolo ...
s. In addition, it is known that vascular birthmarks are not
hereditary Heredity, also called inheritance or biological inheritance, is the passing on of traits Trait may refer to: * Phenotypic trait in biology, which involve genes and characteristics of organisms * Trait (computer programming), a model for str ...
.


Pigmented types


Mole

Congenital melanocytic nevus is a type of
melanocytic nevus A melanocytic nevus (also known as nevocytic nevus, nevus-cell nevus and commonly as a mole) is a type of melanocytic tumor that contains nevus cells. Some sources equate the term mole with "melanocytic nevus", but there are also sources that equat ...
, the medical term for what is colloquially called a "mole", found in
infant An infant (from the Latin word ''infans'', meaning 'unable to speak' or 'speechless') is the more formal or specialised synonym for the common term ''baby'', meaning the very young offspring of human beings Humans (''Homo sapiens'' ...

infant
s at birth. Occurring in about 1% of infants in the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
, it is located in the area of the
head Head Sport GmbH is an American-Austrian manufacturing company Manufacturing is the creation or production Production may be: Economics and business * Production (economics) * Production, the act of manufacturing goods * Production, in th ...

head
and
neck The neck is the part of the body on many vertebrate Vertebrates () comprise all species of animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular eukaryotic organisms that form the Kingdom (biology), biological kingdom Animalia. With ...

neck
15% of the time, but may occur anywhere on the body. It may appear as light brown in fair-skinned people, to almost black in people with darker skin. Coming in a variety of sizes and appearances, they may be irregular in shape and flat, or raised and lumpy in appearance and feel. Such naevi can also manifest themselves as beauty marks, which most commonly appear on the
face The face is the front of an animal's head that features the eyes Eyes are organs An organ is a group of tissues with similar functions. Plant life and animal life rely on many organs that co-exist in organ systems. A given organ's ti ...

face
,
neck The neck is the part of the body on many vertebrate Vertebrates () comprise all species of animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular eukaryotic organisms that form the Kingdom (biology), biological kingdom Animalia. With ...

neck
or
arm In human anatomy, the arm is the part of the upper limb The upper Limb (anatomy), limbs or upper extremities are the forelimbs of an upright posture, upright-postured tetrapod vertebrate, extending from the scapulae and clavicles down to and incl ...

arm
s.


Café au lait spot

Café au lait spot
macule A skin condition, also known as cutaneous condition, is any medical condition A disease is a particular abnormal condition that negatively affects the structure or function (biology), function of all or part of an organism, and that is ...

macule
s may occur anywhere on the body. They are most commonly oval in shape and light brown, or milk coffee, in color. These birthmarks may be present at birth, or appear in early childhood, and do not fade much with age. One or two on an individual is common; however, four or more may be an indicator of
neurofibromatosis Neurofibromatosis (NF) is a group of three conditions in which tumors grow in the nervous system In Biology, biology, the nervous system is a Complex system, highly complex part of an animal that coordinates its Behavior, actions and Sense, ...

neurofibromatosis
. In the event of weight gain, the birthmark can stretch with the skin and become larger.


Mongolian spot

A Mongolian blue spot (dermal melanocytosis) is a
benign {{Unreferenced, date=June 2019, bot=noref (GreenC bot) Benignity (from Latin ''benignus'' "kind, good", itself deriving from ''bonus'' "good" and ''genus'' "origin") is any condition that is harmless in the long run. The opposite of benignity is ...
flat
congenital A birth defect, also known as a congenital disorder, is a condition present at birth Birth is the act or process of bearing or bringing forth offspring, also referred to in technical contexts as parturition. In mammals, the process is initiate ...
birthmark with wavy borders and irregular shape, most common among
East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia, which is defined in both Geography, geographical and culture, ethno-cultural terms. The modern State (polity), states of East Asia include China, Japan, Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea, and Taiwan. ...

East Asia
ns and
Turkic Turkic may refer to: * anything related to the country of Turkey * Turkic languages, a language family of at least thirty-five documented languages ** Turkic alphabets (disambiguation) ** Turkish language, the most widely spoken Turkic language * T ...
people (excluding Turks of
Asia Minor Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from 'almost' and 'island') is a landform A landform is a natural or artificial feature of ...

Asia Minor
), and named after
Mongolians The Mongols ( mn, Монголчууд, , ''Mongolchuud'', ; ) are an East Asian people, East Asian ethnic group Indigenous peoples, native to Mongolia and to China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. They also live as minorities in other regi ...

Mongolians
. It is also extremely prevalent among
East Africa East Africa, Eastern Africa, or East of Africa is the eastern sub-region A subregion is a part of a larger region or continent and is usually based on location. Cardinal directions, such as south or southern, are commonly used to define a subr ...
ns and
Native Americans Native Americans may refer to: Ethnic groups * Indigenous peoples of the Americas, the pre-Columbian peoples of North and South America and their descendants * Native Americans in the United States * Indigenous peoples in Canada, the indigenous p ...
.About Mongolian Spot
/ref>Mongolian blue spots
- Health care guide discussing the Mongolian blue spot.
It normally disappears three to five years after birth and almost always by
puberty Puberty is the process of physical changes through which a child Biologically, a child (plural children) is a human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread species In biology Biology is the natur ...

puberty
. The most common color is blue, although they can be blue-gray, blue-black or even deep brown. The Mongolian spot is a
congenital A birth defect, also known as a congenital disorder, is a condition present at birth Birth is the act or process of bearing or bringing forth offspring, also referred to in technical contexts as parturition. In mammals, the process is initiate ...
developmental condition exclusively involving the
skin Skin is the layer of usually soft, flexible outer tissue covering the body of a vertebrate animal, with three main functions: protection, regulation, and sensation. Other cuticle, animal coverings, such as the arthropod exoskeleton, have differ ...

skin
. The blue colour is caused by
melanocyte Melanocytes are melanin Melanin (; from el, μέλας ''melas'', "black, dark") is a broad term for a group of natural pigments found in most organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ὀργανισμός, ''org ...
s,
melanin Melanin (; from el, μέλας ''melas'', "black, dark") is a broad term for a group of natural pigments found in most organisms. Melanin is produced through a multistage chemical process known as melanogenesis, where the oxidation of the ami ...

melanin
-containing cells, that are deep under the skin. Usually, as multiple spots or one large patch, it covers one or more of the lumbosacral area (lower
back The human back, also called the dorsum, is the large Posterior (anatomy), posterior area of the human body, rising from the top of the buttocks to the back of the neck. It is the surface anatomy, surface of the body opposite from the chest and th ...

back
), the
buttock The buttocks (singular: buttock) are two rounded portions of the exterior anatomy of most mammals Mammals (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European l ...
s, sides, and
shoulder The human shoulder is made up of three bones: the clavicle The clavicle, or collarbone, is a slender, S-shaped long bone approximately 6 inches (15 cm) long that serves as a strut between the scapula, shoulder blade and the sternum (bre ...

shoulder
s. It results from the entrapment of melanocytes in the
dermis The dermis or corium is a layer of skin between the epidermis (skin), epidermis (with which it makes up the cutis (anatomy), cutis) and subcutaneous tissues, that primarily consists of dense irregular connective tissue and cushions the body from s ...
during their migration from the
neural crest Neural crest cells are a temporary group of cells unique to vertebrate Vertebrates () comprise all species of animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular eukaryotic organisms that form the Kingdom (biology), biological kingd ...

neural crest
to the
epidermis The epidermis is the outermost of the three layers that comprise the skin Skin is the layer of usually soft, flexible outer tissue covering the body of a vertebrate Vertebrates () comprise all species of animal Animals (also calle ...
during
embryo An embryo is the early stage of development of a multicellular organism A multicellular organism is an organism In biology, an organism () is any organic, life, living system that functions as an individual entity. All organisms ar ...

embryo
nic development. Among those who are not aware of the background of the Mongolian spots, it may sometimes be mistaken for a bruise indicative of child abuse.Mongolian Spot
- English information of Mongolian spot, written by Hironao NUMABE, M.D., Tokyo Medical University.


Vascular types


Stork bite

Colloquially called a "
stork Storks are large, long-legged, long-necked wading bird FIle:Vadare - Ystad-2021.jpg, 245px, A flock of Dunlins and Red knots Waders are birds of the order Charadriiformes commonly found along shorelines and mudflats that wikt:wade#Etymology ...

stork
bite", "
angel An angel is a supernatural The supernatural encompasses supposed phenomena or entities that are not subject to the . This term is attributed to , such as s, s, , and . It also includes claimed abilities embodied in or provided by such ...

angel
's kiss" or "
salmon Salmon is the common name for several species of ray-finned fish Actinopterygii ( New Latin ('having rays') + Greek ( 'wing, fins')), members of which are known as ray-finned fishes, is a clade A clade (; from grc, , ''klados'', ...

salmon
patch", telangiectatic nevus appears as a pink or tanned, flat, irregularly shaped mark on the
knee In human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodivers ...

knee
, back of the neck, and/or the
forehead In human anatomy The human body is the structure of a human being. It is composed of many different types of cells that together create tissues and subsequently organ systems. They ensure homeostasis In biology Biology is the natura ...

forehead
,
eyelid An eyelid is a thin fold of skin that covers and protects an eye Eyes are organs of the visual system. They provide living organisms with vision, the ability to receive and process visual detail, as well as enabling several photo respon ...

eyelid
s and, sometimes, the top
lip Lips are a visible body part at the mouth of many animals, including humans. Lips are soft, movable, and serve as the opening for food intake and in the articulation of sound and speech. Human lips are a tactile sensory organ, and can be an ...

lip
. The skin is not thickened and feels no different from anywhere else on the body; the only difference is in appearance. Nearly half of all babies have such a birthmark.


Strawberry mark

An
infantile hemangioma An infantile hemangioma (IH), sometimes called a strawberry mark due to appearance, is a type of benign vascular tumor or vascular anomaly, anomaly that affects babies. Other names include capillary hemangioma, strawberry hemangioma, and strawber ...

infantile hemangioma
, colloquially called a
strawberry The garden strawberry (or simply strawberry; ''Fragaria × ananassa'') is a widely grown hybrid species Hybrid speciation is a form of speciation Speciation is the evolution Evolution is change in the Heredity, heritable Phenotypi ...

strawberry
mark, is a
benign {{Unreferenced, date=June 2019, bot=noref (GreenC bot) Benignity (from Latin ''benignus'' "kind, good", itself deriving from ''bonus'' "good" and ''genus'' "origin") is any condition that is harmless in the long run. The opposite of benignity is ...
self- involuting
tumor A neoplasm () is a type of abnormal and excessive growth of tissue Tissue may refer to: Biology * Tissue (biology), an ensemble of similar cells that together carry out a specific function * ''Triphosa haesitata'', a species of geometer moth ...

tumor
(swelling or growth) of
endothelial Endothelium is a single layer of squamous Epithelium () is one of the four basic types of animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular eukaryotic organisms that form the Kingdom (biology), biological kingdom Animalia. With ...
cells, the cells that line
blood vessel The blood vessels are the components of the circulatory system The circulatory system, also called the cardiovascular system or the vascular system, is an organ system that permits blood to circulate and transport nutrients (such as amino ...
s. It usually appears during the first weeks of life and resolves by age 10. It is the most common
tumor A neoplasm () is a type of abnormal and excessive growth of tissue Tissue may refer to: Biology * Tissue (biology), an ensemble of similar cells that together carry out a specific function * ''Triphosa haesitata'', a species of geometer moth ...

tumor
of
infancy An infant (from the Latin word ''infans'', meaning 'unable to speak' or 'speechless') is the more formal or specialised synonym for the common term ''baby'', meaning the very young offspring of human beings Humans (''Homo sapiens'' ...

infancy
. PHACES Syndrome, a rare condition that often involves
brain A brain is an organ Organ may refer to: Biology * Organ (anatomy) An organ is a group of Tissue (biology), tissues with similar functions. Plant life and animal life rely on many organs that co-exist in organ systems. A given organ's tis ...

brain
,
heart The heart is a muscular MUSCULAR (DS-200B), located in the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use ...

heart
, and
arterial An artery (plural arteries) () is a blood vessel that takes blood away from the heart to one or more parts of the body (tissues, lungs, brain etc.). Most arteries carry oxygenated blood; the two exceptions are the pulmonary arteries, pulmonary ...

arterial
abnormalities, is generally accompanied by the presence of large facial hemangiomas. In such cases, what appears to be a small
bruise A bruise, also known as a contusion, is a type of hematoma A hematoma, also spelled haematoma, or blood suffusion is a localized bleeding Bleeding, also known as a hemorrhage, haemorrhage, or simply blood loss, is blood Blood is a bod ...

bruise
or birthmark may grow rapidly and take on a puffy appearance in the first days or weeks of life.


Port-wine stain

stains, also known as nevus flammeus and sometimes mistaken for strawberry marks, are present at birth and range from a pale pink in color, to a deep wine-red. Irregular in appearance, they are usually quite large, and caused by a deficiency or absence in the
nerve A nerve is an enclosed, cable-like bundle of fibers (called axon An axon (from Greek ἄξων ''áxōn'', axis), or nerve fiber (or nerve fibre: see spelling differences Despite the various English dialects Dialect The term diale ...

nerve
supply to
blood vessel The blood vessels are the components of the circulatory system The circulatory system, also called the cardiovascular system or the vascular system, is an organ system that permits blood to circulate and transport nutrients (such as amino ...
s. This causes
vasodilation Vasodilation is the widening of blood vessel The blood vessels are the components of the circulatory system The circulatory system, also called the cardiovascular system or the vascular system, is an organ system An organ system is ...

vasodilation
, the dilation of blood vessels, causing blood to pool or collect in the affected area. Over time, port-wine stains may become thick or develop small ridges or bumps, and do not fade with age. Such birthmarks may have emotional or social repercussions. Port-wine stains occur in 0.3% of the population, equally among males and females. They frequently express unilaterally, i.e., on only one side, not crossing the midline of the body. Often on the face, marks on the upper eyelid or forehead may be indicative of a condition called Sturge-Weber syndrome. Additionally, port-wine stains in these locations may be associated with
glaucoma Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases which result in damage to the optic nerve The optic nerve, also known as cranial nerve II, or simply as CN II, is a paired cranial nerve Cranial nerves are the nerve A nerve is an enclosed, cable-l ...

glaucoma
and
seizure An epileptic seizure, formally known as a seizure, is a period of symptom Signs and symptoms are the observed or detectable signs, and experienced symptoms of an illness, injury, or condition. A sign for example may be a higher or lower tem ...
s.


Treatment

Most birthmarks are harmless and do not require treatment. Pigmented marks can resolve on their own over time in some cases. Vascular birthmarks may require reduction or removal for
cosmetic Cosmetic may refer to: *Cosmetics, or make-up, substances to enhance the beauty of the human body, apart from simple cleaning *Cosmetic, an adjective describing beauty, aesthetics, or appearance, especially concerning the human body *Cosmetic, a top ...
reasons. Treatments include administering oral or injected
steroid A steroid is a biologically active organic compound In chemistry Chemistry is the study of the properties and behavior of . It is a that covers the that make up matter to the composed of s, s and s: their composition, structure, ...

steroid
s, dermatological lasers to reduce size and/or color, or
dermatologic surgery Dermatology is the branch of medicine dealing with the skin.''Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary.'' Random House, Inc. 2001. Page 537. . It is a speciality with both medical and surgical aspects. A List of dermatologists, dermatologist ...
.


References


External links


Birthmarks
via the
Cleveland Clinic Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonprofit institution, is a legal entity organized and operated for a collective, public or social benefit ...

Cleveland Clinic

Vascular Birthmarks Foundation
via
MedlinePlus MedlinePlus is an online information service produced by the United States National Library of Medicine The United States National Library of Medicine (NLM), operated by the United States federal government The federal government of the ...
{{Authority control Skin