Birthmarks are colored marks that are visible on a baby’s skin at birth or shortly afterwards. It is a very common condition and it is estimated that more than 1 in 10 babies have the condition.
While the exact cause of the condition is not known, researchers believe that proteins released by the placenta during pregnancy might play a role in its development.
Here are some of the things you should know about the condition:
- They are not inherited
- There are two main types of birthmarks – pigmented and vascular
- They can occur anywhere on the body
- Some types appear as raised marks on the skin and are usually red in color
- Depending on the type, they can either fade as a child gets older or deepen in color with time
- They can either be temporary or permanent
Most birthmarks are harmless and do not pose any health risk. There are however few cases where a birthmark interferes with vision or other sensory functions. When this occurs, immediate treatment is required to prevent damage from being done.
In rare cases, birthmarks can develop into malignant cancer. This is especially true for those that are large in size. Some types are treatable while some are not. As long as the marks are not causing any kind of discomfort or health problems for the child, they are usually left untreated.
Surgery, laser therapy, certain medications or injections are the treatment methods available for birthmarks. These treatments are usually not necessary most of the time; they can be painful and they do not always work.