Birthmarks are abnormalities of the skin that can be either present at birth or develop soon afterwards. Birthmarks may be red, pink, brown, dark brown, or green, depending on the cells involved. Birthmarks can also be flat or raised.

Types of Birthmarks

  • Cafe-Au-Lait Spots are usually light brown.
  • Hemangiomas are flat or slightly raised and bright or dark red marks. They are found on the face, head, neck, and body. Hemangiomas of the face are associated with abnormalities of the brain’s blood vessels. They can be divided into 2 types as follows:
    • Superficial Hemangioma such as Strawberry Hemangiomas, are slightly raised red marks that come from a collection of blood vessels on the face.
    • Deep Hemangioma such as Cavernous Hemangiomas, are usually found under the skin and appear as a red-green color.
    • Mixed Hemangioma, which has both superficial and deep components.
  • Macular Stains are also known as angel’s kisses or stork bites. They are almost invisible and require no treatment.
  • Moles are dark brown or black, and are usually present soon after birth. Moles happen when we have an excess production of melanin.
  • Mongolian Spots are green-grey flat skin markings. They are harmless and are usually found on the lower back or buttocks of infants. They disappear during puberty.
  • Port-Wine Stains are pink, red, or purple marks. They vary in size.
  • Congenital Hairy Nevus (Giant Hairy Nevus, Bathing Trunk Nevus) is a dark-colored, often hairy, patch of skin. It is usually large and may become malignant over time. Congenital hairy nevus should be removed when possible, depending on its size and location.


You might need to see a doctor if your birthmarks exhibit any of the following changes:
  • Changes in color (lighter or darker)
  • Becoming raised or swollen
  • Abnormality of skin growth
  • Increasing in size
  • Symptomatic such as bleeding, itching, scaling, or ulcerations

Birthmarks are usually harmless. However, hemangiomas and port-wine stains may cause complications, including open sores, bleeding, abnormal function of surrounding organs (such as eyes or mouth), or abnormal growth (in which immediate attention may be required).

In some cases, moles can become cancerous. In case of any abnormalities, please see a doctor for early diagnosis and treatment.


Please consult a dermatologist. In some cases, a skin biopsy may be needed for testing purposes.


Most birthmarks do not require treatment. However, treatment can be done for:
  • Cosmetic reasons
  • Complications
  • Prevention of severe conditions
Treatment options include laser treatment and surgery, depending on the types of birthmarks.

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