Conditions

Birthmarks

Birthmarks are dark brown or red patches on the skin caused by abnormal blood vessels. About one in three children have some sort of birthmark, and they can vary dramatically in size, shape and colour. Most birthmarks don’t cause any physical harm but kids may feel distressed and upset, especially at school, because they are marked out as ‘different’.

There are three main types of birthmark. The most common is called a ‘salmon patch’ and half of all new babies have these. Salmon patches, also known as ‘stork marks’ are small red areas of skin that appear on the eyelids, across the nose or on the back of the neck. No treatment is needed for these and they usually just fade away over time.

One in ten white kids and one in a hundred black or Asian children develop strawberry marks, also called capillary haemangioma. These appear a couple of months after birth, most commonly on the face or neck. It’s a small, red patch or lump – hence the name – which will grow during the first nine months of a baby’s life. The condition does not need treatment and seven out of ten strawberry marks have disappeared by the time the child is seven years old.

The port wine stain is a less common but more significant mark. About one in 3,000 babies have the condition. These are pink, red or purple patches on the skin, usually present from birth, and they vary from a few millimetres to several centimetres. They can appear anywhere but are more common on the face and upper part of the body, and they tend to be restricted to just one side. Port stains aren’t harmful though the area may bleed more easily, and they will get larger as your child grows up. Laser treatment can reduce the prominence of port wine stains in children, and the younger kids are when they start having treatment (it can begin at two months) the more effective it will be.

Learning to live with a prominent birthmark can be hard for kids, especially as they grow up and become more conscious of their appearance. Your doctor will be able to put you in touch with organisations such as The Birthmark Support group and Vascular Birthmarks Foundation who offer more help and guidance for kids and the families of those affected.

What the Men in White Coats Say

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Hi I'm 13 and I have a birthmark on the side of my face which is brown and it is a few millimeters off my skin i have noticed that it has started to Go a bit hard on the bottom left corner and has gotten bigger i would like to no if there is a possibility that it might come off





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Hello! I'm 13 and i have a red lump on my upper lip. People keep saying I have herpes, which is not true. Also, people tell me to cover it up with makeup, but lipstick just makes it more noticable. My teeth aren't straight either, so i dont like the attension it brings to my lip and mouth. My mom doesnt have enough money for a surgery. What should i do? Its inly about 1/2 millimeter but it in my lip!!!





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Hi I am a new mom. my 2 month old baby was born with a large brown birthmark on half his chest all the way to the back and left hand.I have consulted two dermalogists who say it is not a LCMN and is harmless. second doctor diagnosed it as PWS and can be treated with laser.he wants us to wait till he is 7 years to start treating. I am not convinced with the diagnosis as I know that PWS are pink or red and not brown. Can you pl confirm if my understanding of PWS is correct. also what can be done to treat it.can laser work on brown birthmarks





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I have a birth mark on my head! I get bullied because of it I get remarks such as 'squashed bean' because that's what it looks like! I am also having a wart growing on it (at least I think its a wart) and I am really conscious! I am 16 years old and I've been bullied since I started school what should I do I really need to get rid of it!





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I am having a birthmark in brown color on the side of my face. I use to cover it with my hair. But now I use a foundation it's really good it's name is camouflage. you should use it too it will really help you to cover your mark.

I have the same one as you :( why do I have this

i'm 13 and i have a really dark birthmark an my back. sometimes it's itchy, but most of the time it's a nuisance when i wear backless swimsuits. is surgery a safe option? also, i had a skin tag 2 years ago. i thought it was a tick, so i plucked it off with tweezers. it's still red and itchy. what's up with it?





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Itchy could be a problem. You can easily have it removed by a dermatologist. It didnt even hurt when I removed mine. However if it changes color or shape have it checked immediately!

I'm 13 and I have a strawberry lump type on my upper lip and I've learnt to deal with it but I was just wondering if it will ever go away , it was dark purple when I was young but now it's like a light pink colour





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since it is getting lighter, i think it might be going away. have patience...if it doesn't go away and it's still bugging you, you might want to see a dermatologist or something.

I'm 16 years old and have started recently to become really annoyed and upset about having a birthmark. Mine is a port wine stain birthmark which is the whole way up the back of my right leg. I really get so parinod about it now and all I ever want to do is go out on weekends or nights out with my friends but I feel I can't because whenever I wear skirts,dresses,shorts I constantly get stares and rude comments. And i know i shouldnt get upset about it but its so hard to constanly put on a strong face and act like i dont care what people say, i just want to know is there anything I can do to aleast cover te bottom half of my leg because later treatment isn't working at all :-/





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I'm sixteen years old and I have a huge dark birthmark on my right arm. I feel extremely self conscious about it because whenever I would wear shirts or tanktops Kids would just stare. I know I shouldn't let it get to me but it does. that's why once summer comes around all I do is stay home because I refuse to go out with friends and have to wear a long sleeved shirt. I want to tell me parents how I feel about it but I feel like they wouldn't understand me. does anyone have any idea on how to cover it? no laser treatments or tattoos though. :/





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Do you have anyone you can talk to? Your parents might understand but if you really aren't comfortable with that maybe an aunt or cousin or even a school counselor or free clinic. If this is bothering you that much you need to tell someone. Staying home forever is not going to be an option.

Im just turning 15 and have a strawberry birthmark on the back of my leg, I've always been so self-consious about it and never wear shorts. It's enlarged alot since I've grown up and changed into a dark purple colour then red and white when I press on it, it sometimes hurt and I've caught it or scratched it now and then and it really hurts then like I feel the pain of the scratch, is there something wrong with me?:/ I'm scared of pain so I'm scared to get it removed aswell:/





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I have 5 port wine stains going up the front of my leg. I never used to be bothered by it but as I've got older ive become very self conscious about them. I don't wear shorts or anything that shows my leg outside the house and I get very self conscious. People tell you that others ant looking but it doesn't matter because it feels like they are. I have camouflage make up and have laser treatment but the laser treatment hasn't made much difference and the make up never full covers them. I wish I could be more confident but at the moment Im very self conscious of them. I'm a sixteen year old girl by the way.





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Content supplied by NHS Choices

Birthmarks are coloured marks that are visible on the skin. Most of them are either: Read More »