Birthmarks are a common occurrence in newborns and are characterized by an overgrowth of skin pigment cells or blood vessels. While most birthmarks are benign, some may indicate an underlying medical condition. The exact cause of birthmarks is still unknown, although some factors may increase the likelihood of developing them, such as genetics and certain medical conditions.
There are two primary types of birthmarks: pigmented and vascular.
Café-au-lait Spots: These spots are typically present at birth and are flat, light brown in color.
Mongolian Spots: These blue-gray patches of skin are typically found on the lower back or buttocks.
Moles: Moles are clusters of pigment cells and can vary in color, size, and shape.
Port-wine Stains: These red or purple birthmarks are caused by abnormal blood vessel growth.
Strawberry Hemangiomas: These raised, red birthmarks usually appear within the first few weeks of life.
Salmon Patches: These pink birthmarks are typically flat and can be found on the forehead, eyelids, or neck.
Treatment options for birthmarks depend on the type and severity of the birthmark. While most birthmarks do not require treatment and will fade over time, some may cause discomfort or be a sign of an underlying medical condition. Here are some common treatments for birthmarks:
Laser Therapy: This treatment uses lasers to target and destroy the blood vessels or pigment cells in the birthmark.
Surgery: In some cases, surgical removal may be necessary.
Medications: Certain medications can help to shrink or reduce the appearance of birthmarks.
It is important to consult with a dermatologist if you have concerns about a birthmark. Although most birthmarks are harmless, some may require treatment if they are causing discomfort or indicate an underlying medical condition. Dr. Neily, a board-certified dermatologist in Venice, Florida can provide expert guidance and care. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.