Birthmarks are abnormal skin discolorations in spots that are either present at birth or appear shortly thereafter. They can be flat or slightly raised from the skin. They can be any number of colors, including red, brown, black, tan, pink, white or purple. Birthmarks are generally harmless. There are two major categories of birthmarks: pigmented birthmarks and red birthmarks.
Pigmented Birthmarks can grow anywhere on the skin and at any time. They are usually black, brown or skin-colored and appear singly or in groups. They can be moles (congenital nevi) that are present at birth, Mongolian spots, which look like bluish bruises and appear more frequently on people with dark skin, or café-au-lait spots that are flat, light brown or tan and roughly form an oval shape.
Red Birthmarks (also known as macular stains) develop before or shortly after birth and are related to the vascular (blood vessel) system. There are a number of different types:
- Angel kisses, which usually appear on the forehead and eyelids.
- Stork bites, which appear on the back of the neck, between the eyebrows on the forehead, or on eyelids of newborns. They may fade away as the child grows, but often persist into adulthood.
- Port-wine stains, which are flat deep-red or purple birthmarks made up of dilated blood capillaries (small blood vessels). They often appear on the face and are permanent.
- Strawberry hemangiomas, composed of small, closely packed blood vessels that grow rapidly and can appear anywhere on the body. They usually disappear by age nine.
- Cavernous hemangiomas are similar to strawberry hemangiomas but go more deeply into the layers of the skin. These can often be characterized by a bluish-purple color. They also tend to disappear naturally around school age.
Our team of professionals and staff believe that informed patients are better equipped to make decisions regarding their health and well-being. For your personal use, we have created an extensive patient library covering an array of educational topics, which can be found on the side of each page. Browse through these diagnoses and treatments to learn more about topics of interest to you.
As always, you can contact our office to answer any questions or concerns.
Acne is the most frequent skin condition in the United States...
Rosacea is a chronic skin condition that causes facial redness, acne-like pimples, visible small blood vessels on the face, swelling and/or watery, irritated eyes...
... Chronic skin problems, such as acne, psoriasis or seborrheic dermatitis...
Considered a severe form of acne, hidradenitis suppurativa is a chronic skin inflammation that usually occurs deep in the skin in areas of the body with sweat glands, such as the groin or armpits...
...Others are caused by plugged-up sweat glands, such as some types of cystic acne...
...This less-common form of folliculitis is seen in people who are undergoing chronic acne antibiotic treatment, people with HIV or people with boils and carbuncles...
Acne Rosacea Head Lice Rashes Eczema (Dermatitis) Lumps, Bumps, and Cysts Psoriasis Blisters Vitiligo Pruritus Poison Ivy, Poison Oak, Poison Sumac Lichen Simplex Chronicus Scleroderma Keratosis Pilaris Hives (Urticaria) Hidradenitis Suppurativa Wrinkles Birthmarks/Pigmented Skin