Birthmarks are areas of discolored and/or raised skin that are apparent at birth or within a few weeks of birth. Birthmarks are made up of malformed pigment cells or blood vessels.
Although the cause of birthmarks is not known, most of them are benign (noncancerous) and do not require treatment. Babies with birthmarks should be examined and diagnosed by a doctor.
The following are the most common types of vascular birthmarks:
Macular stains or salmon patches. These are characterized by pink to red marks that may appear anywhere on the body. Angel kisses and stork bites are the most common type of vascular birthmark:
The following are the most common types of pigmented birthmarks:
The Division of Dermatology at Children's National Health System continues to expand services as more families seek our expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the skin, hair and nails.
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A hemangioma is a type of birthmark. It is the most common benign (noncancerous) tumor of the skin. Hemangiomas may be present at birth (faint red mark) or may appear in the first months after birth.
Abnormal skin growths and abnormal pigmentation of the skin may be present at birth or develop later in life.
A lymphatic malformation is a mass in the head or neck that results from an abnormal formation of lymphatic vessels.