Does Your Baby Have a Birthmark?

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birthmarks and babies

Cindy Crawford's birthmark is famous

Contrary to what those old wives will tell you, your baby's birthmarks are not caused by something you ate while you were pregnant nor are they the result of a traumatic birth. The reality is that some birthmarks are related to genetics, but most simply happen at random. Should you be worried if your baby has a birthmark?

It depends.

DivineCaroline says there are two different kinds of birthmarks: pigmented (caused by an overgrowth of the cells that regulate pigment in skin) and vascular (malformations of blood vessels and capillaries near the skin).

Pigmented birthmarks include:

1. Cafe au lait spots - Smooth, rounded coffee-colored spots that can appear anywhere on the body. Some children have multiple spots, and although they don’t fade, they're usually harmless. However, if you see several of these spots, it could be a symptom of a nerve disease and you should have your doctor check them.

2. Mongolian Blue spots - Flat, bruise-like spots that often appear on a baby’s bottom or lower body and range in color from blue to black to grey. They almost always fade within a few years.

3. Moles - Think Cindy Crawford. Moles can be brown or black. People with many moles have a slightly higher chance of developing skin cancer and should take precautions when in the sun.

Vascular birthmarks include:

1. Macular stains - Also called salmon patches, angel kisses, or stork bites, these  flat-pink or red marks are harmless and usually appear around the face, head, or the nape of the neck. They usually fade after childhood.

2. Hemangiomas - They are bright red and usually raised or bumpy. Most are small and fade after childhood, but some can be large and leave a scar. They're usually not dangerous, but hemangiomas near the face or head can interfere with breathing or vision, and should be monitored by a doctor.

3. Port wine stains - Think Gorbachev. These are  dark red or purple, and often highly visible. Although not life threatening, they can affect the shape of the face, since the abundance of blood flow to the area can sometimes cause the skin to become stretched or distorted. Many people with port wine stains choose to undergo laser therapy to shrink them, since with age, the mark can take on a pebbled texture or affect vision and speech.

Does your baby have a birthmark? What kind?

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