Birthmarks are colored marks on or under the skin’s surface. Some of them fade out as the time goes by and others become more visible. They can be caused by pigment-producing cells in the skin or by blood vessels that don’t grow the way they should. Most often they are painless and harmless, but there are cases when they can cause skin complications.
There are several types of birthmarks:
Salmon patches - are blood vessels that appear as small, pink, flat marks on the skin. They are most numerous among newborn babies and most likely they appear on the back of the baby’s neck, between the eyes, on the forehead, nose, upper lip, or eyelids. Some fade out, but those on the back of the neck usually don't go away.
Port Wine Stains - begin as flat, pinkish-red marks that darken and become bigger and thicker with age. They are caused by dilated blood capillaries and can be signs of other disorders.
Mongolian Spots - are flat, smooth marks. They can be blue, gray, black, or brown. Most often they resemble a bruise and usually fade out with age, but may never disappear entirely.
Cafe-Au-Lait Spots - are smooth and oval with light to medium brown color. They're typically found on the torso, buttocks, and legs and can get bigger and darker with age.
Strawberry Hemangiomas - are a small, closely packed blood vessels that occur on the surface of the skin, usually on the face, scalp, back, or chest. They can be red or purple with sharp borders. They grow rapidly through the first year.
Cavernous Hemangiomas - appear as a bluish spongy mass of tissue filled with blood. They typically appear on the head or neck. Most of them disappear by puberty.
Venous Malformation - are caused by abnormally formed, dilated veins and can become apparent later in childhood or adulthood. They are often found on the jaw, cheek, tongue, and lips. They can continue to grow slowly, and won't fade with time.
Congenital Nevi – are flat, raised or bumpy moles that appear on the surface of the skin. Most of them are not dangerous. But, the large ones, have an increased risk of developing into melanoma.