Some newborn babies are born with birthmarks that can be a bit alarming at first. Some birthmarks disappear after a few years, and others remain throughout the child’s lifetime. These are the most common types of birthmarks:
- Stork bites
- Café au lait marks
- Strawberry hemangioma
- Port wine stains
- Mongolian spots
Stork bites are pink, irregular-shaped patches on the neck or face, which disappear over time.
Café au lait marks
Café au lait marks are tan coloured patches – hence the name café au lait – that can occur anywhere on the newborn baby’s body. They do not disappear over time. If your baby has many café au lait marks, let your doctor know, as it may be a sign that your baby needs further investigations.
Also called a capillary hemangioma or a strawberry mark, this is a red, raised blotch with a soft texture. It may be as small as a kernel of corn or larger than a baseball. Strawberry hemangiomas form when there is an abnormal blood supply to a part of the skin, which causes the skin to swell and turn red. They usually increase in size after birth but are expected to disappear by about five to 10 years of age. If the strawberry hemangioma is close to the eye and interferes with vision, it may need to be treated. As any hemangioma on the face region may eventually affect sight, your doctor should follow the growth of this hemangioma to make sure it disappears properly.
Moles are also called congenital pigmented nevi. They can range from light to dark, and they may have hair growing from them. Moles are not usually a cause for concern. However, if your newborn baby’s mole is very large, starts bleeding, or changes colour, shape, or size, there could be a chance of skin cancer, and it should be brought to your doctor’s attention.
Port wine stains
Port wine stains are large, flat, dark red or purple spots on the skin, caused by too many blood vessels under the skin. Port wine stains do not disappear over time.
Mongolian spots are greenish or bluish spots that look like a bruise under the skin. They typically occur on the bottom or back of babies who are black, Asian, Mediterranean, or otherwise dark in complexion. Mongolian spots usually fade within the first year.