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Birthmarks and Hemangioma

Definition

Birthmarks are markings on your baby's skin that may endure for the whole life or may fade away with time. Some birthmarks are called "stork bites" or "angel kisses" . These are red, mottled spots that generally disappear in several months from birth.

Birthmarks are fairly small moles. However, some birthmarks are very large and brown and more ugly. They are often hairy. The only way to deal with this colour change is by surgical removal but this may be very difficult if the birthmark is large, spreads over creases of the body or is of a bizarre shape.

Causes of Birthmarks

It is not clear why some children have birthmarks and others do not. Some birthmarks appear because a child has extra colour in his or her skin. Other birthmarks appear because a child's blood vessels did not develop normally or are grouped together too closely. Many folktales and myths exist about the causes of birthmarks, but none has been proven to explain the true causes of birthmarks.

Symptoms of Birthmarks

They simply are colored marks on the skin. One kind of birthmark can look very different from another kind of birthmark. Birthmarks can:

  • Be only on the surface of the skin or extend into the tissues under the skin.
  • Grow quickly, remain the same size, shrink, or disappear over time.
  • Be smooth or lumpy.
  • Be thin lines of color or solid color.
  • Be flat or raised.
  • Have regular or irregular borders.
  • Be many different colors, including brown, tan, black, pale blue, pink, red, or purple.

All birthmarks need to be checked by a health professional. Most do not need treatment. Certain changes in a birthmark or certain types of birthmarks may need to be watched closely and/or treated.

Treatment of birthmarks includes

  • Surgery. A hemangioma needs to be surgically removed when other treatments have not worked or when the hemangioma is on an internal organ. Surgical removal of a hemangioma may leave a scar, which may be removed or faded with other treatments.
  • Corticosteroids, such as prednisone. Corticosteroids can be taken as pills or injected directly into a hemangioma to shrink it or to stop it from growing. Most birthmarks treated with corticosteroids shrink within 2 to 4 weeks.
  • Interferon alfa-12. In very rare cases, corticosteroids do not shrink or stop a hemangioma from growing. Interferon alfa-12 may then be used to reduce the size of the hemangioma. This treatment usually lasts 3 to 6 months and has serious side effects including fever, irritability, neutropenia, and liver problems.
  • Laser therapy are often used on birthmarks that are close to the surface of the skin, such as port-wine stains. Sometimes, laser therapy can stop a hemangioma from growing, but it may not work to treat a deeper hemangioma.
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   Poison Ivy
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   Port Wine Stains
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Disclaimer - The information contained in the Skin Diseases is provided for the purpose of educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. We are not responsible for any consequence resulted from using this information. Please always consult your physician for medical advices and treatment.