The 4 Most Common Birthmarks Found on Babies

My oldest daughter was born with a birthmark on her upper arm and a patch of no pigment on her stomach. That led me to wondering how common birthmarks are among newborns. I was surprised as I did my homework, and wanted to share with you the 4 most common birthmarks typically found on a baby.

1. Strawberry Marks: Okay this is not the scientific name, but the one you would recognize. The real name for these birthmarks is capillary haemangioma and they can be found on 2% of newborn babies. These bumps are red, soft, and raised up on the skin. They often look like the shape of a strawberry hence the nickname strawberry marks. These marks usually begin to appear by the child’s one-month birthday. Most cases are premature babies, but can be full term babies. These birthmarks usually go away around age 5, but in rare cases can last longer. You will want to keep any eye on any strawberry marks that appear around the eyes, nose, or mouth. If they begin to grow rapidly in that area you should see your doctor right away. There is a laser therapy that is used in emergency cases. This is rare, however.

2. Port-Wine Stains: The scientific name for this birthmark is nevus flammeus. Port-wine stains can be found on the neck, face, and scalp of an infant. This occurs in about 0.5% of all newborns. The birthmarks tend to be dark red or purple and can be seen upon birth. There is a treatment available to help lighten the stains. It is called a Pulsed-dye laser and it is considered safe and effective. Most port-wine stains are harmless, but if you find one near the eyelids a MRI scan is done to detect possible Sturge-Weber syndrome. Approximately 5% of children with a port-wine stain near the eyelid are at risk for this syndrome.

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3. Mongolian Spots: These spots are usually found on darker skinned babies (Hispanic, Asian, Native American, and African American). They appear on the lower back, legs, and buttocks and are usually the color of a bruise. Children may have more than one. These spots are identifiable at birth and almost always fade away by age 5. Only 5% of children with Mongolian Spots will have them for life. These spots are totally harmless and do not suggest any other type of syndrome.

4. Stork Bites: Stork Bites are also known as Salmon Patch or Nevus simplex. A stork bite usually looks pink and flat. A child can be born with a stork bite or it may appear in the first months of life. These birthmarks are found on the forehead, eyelids, nose, upper lip, or back of the neck. They occur in one third of fair skinned babies and usually fade away by the age of 5. They are perhaps the most common form of birthmarks found in babies.