Birthmarks are skin blemishes, usually congenital. There
are two main types: pigmented nevuses, or moles, which are usually brown
or black and may be raised or flat; and vascular nevuses, local growths
of small blood vessels, such as the "strawberry mark" and the "port-wine
stain." Although harmless, they are sometimes removed for cosmetic reasons
or if they show malignant tendencies. See also tumor.
Symptoms of birthmarks
Each type of birthmark has its own appearance:
Other symptoms of birthmarks:
- Cafe-au-lait spots are light tan, the color of coffee
- Moles are small clusters of colored skin cells.
- Mongolian spots (also called Mongolian blue spots)
are usually bluish or bruised-looking. They usually appear over the
lower back or buttocks, but can also appear in other areas, including
the trunk or arms.
- Abnormally dark or light skin
- Contain hair
- Skin lesion
- Skin lumps
- Textured – smooth, flat, raised, or wrinkled
Treatment for birthmarks
Treatment varies depending on the type of birthmark and related conditions.
Usually no treatment is needed for the birthmark itself.
Large birthmarks that affect your appearance and self-esteem may be covered
with special cosmetics.
Moles may be removed surgically if they affect your appearance or have an
increased cancer risk. Discuss your options with your doctor to decide how
and when to remove any moles.