Relax, it wasn’t anything you did. It just happens, and
there is no known reason for it. There are many studies going on to
try to determine why it happens… but lets leave that up to the
scientists to determine. Not our overactive imaginations. Besides
after a while, you wont be able to imagine your child without it and
will love that birthmark just as much as those ten fingers and toes.
Your job as a parent is to find out what kind of birthmark your
child has and if there is anything else attributed to having that
particular mark. For the most cases there isn’t anything there other
than simply a beautiful spot of colour. But to ease our minds as
parents we need to know for sure that is all it is. To determine
what kind of birthmark it is, you’ll have to go to your doctor for
them to see for him or herself. There is a lot of self-diagnosis
done over the internet these days and I know from first hand
experience that it can lead you into a world of over diagnosis and
anxiety. Just because your child has a birthmark doesn’t mean
they’ll have any of the symptoms attributed to them.
Below I have a brief description of some of the more common types
of birthmarks and their syndrome possibilities. Please remember
though that I’m just a parent who had a child with a birthmark and
did some research. These may not be perfectly accurate descriptions
and should only be used as guidelines. You should check with your
Doctor to find out more information.
Stork Bites, Angles Kisses or Salmon patches are flat pink areas
that are normally found between the eyes on the forehead in a “V”
formation, or the nape of the neck. There can also be small patches
around the nose or mouth. The majority of these tend to disappear by
the time the child in one with the exception of the marks on the
nape of the neck they tend to remain. Salmon patches are more
noticeable when a baby is crying or when he or she is hot or cold.
Strawberry Hemangioma actually is raised and protrudes from the
skin, looking similar in colour and texture to a strawberry. Most
strawberry birthmarks disappear on their own by the time the child
reaches five. On some occasions the child will be approaching their
teens before they notice it is disappearing. Generally they don’t
need to be worried about, unless they are located in an area that
interferes with normal everyday function like seeing, or eating and
Deep Hemangiomas or Cavernous Hemagioma are raised birthmarks
that can range in color from, pale, skin colored, red to blue. They
tend to be round lumps that may not disappear on their own.
Port wine Stain or PWS actually looks like some wine has been
spilled upon the skin leaving a stain in a dark pink, red or purple.
The birthmark is a flat patch most commonly found on the face or
limbs and rarely crosses the midline. These tend not to fade on
their own, but treatment is available for those who are looking.
Facial PWS that cover the eye and forehead need to be checked for
Sturge Webber Syndrome (SWS), and PWS on the limbs should to be
checked for Klippel-Trenaunay syndrome.
Café-au-lait spots are flat brownish birthmarks that tend to
develop in infancy, and are generally located on the legs, torso or
buttocks. A couple of these birthmarks is not a sign of a health
problem, however, six or more spots that are larger than 0.25 in.
(6.4 mm) or ones that occur along with freckles in the armpit can
Mongolian spots tend to occur in children of Asian decent and are
smooth, brown or bluish gray birthmarks that tend to be found across
the lower back and buttock region. A child may have one or several
Mongolian spots that tend to disappear without treatment by age 3 or
“In order to be irreplaceable
one must always be different.”
If you think your child has a birthmark that needs some extra
attention, please remember that a lot of the syndromes are only
recognizable through MRI’s or cat scans which can sometimes take
quite awhile to get. There will be an ongoing process for quite
sometime to get your answers. Your questions will not be answered
over night even though as a parent you want the answers now, so you
can fix possible problems now. The anxiety can be overwhelming, but
remember that everything takes time and nothing is going to get
worse during the wait. Just sit back and enjoy your new baby and
smother him or her with millions of hugs and kisses.
There are three different paths to take if your child is born
with a birthmark that you think may cause social reactions that
you’d rather your child not have to endure. You could choose to do
nothing at all, and wait for your child to be old enough to make
their own decision. You could use makeup as a camouflage, or seek
laser treatments for removal. Everyone’s decision will be different
because of all of the different factors that are involved with each
individual mark and personal or religious beliefs.
For laser treatment, the United States is different from Canada
in their care of treating a PWS. Where the U.S. is quite aggressive
when it comes to treating and likes to start as early as two weeks
old when the skin is very young and thin, Canada generally likes to
wait until the child is two years of age. Of course these are just
the general rule, and I’m sure will differ from province to
province, or state to state as they would from Doctor to Doctor. One
thing you should know is that permanent removal is not guaranteed.
Usually doctors will say that 80-90% fading will be noticed. Your
doctor will have to determine how many sessions will probably be
needed to get this fading and then yearly maintenance treatments will
probably have to be done to maintain the effects.
IF you choose to try makeup, or have it on hand for your child is
older and asks, there are many different brands available for anyone
to use, that can be mixed to match any skin tone. These are some
common types used in the birthmark community. Dermablend – Covermark
– Coverblend – Microskin – JoeBlasco – CoverFX (which is now in
Shoppers Drug Mart).
|Our son, Clae, was born with a facial Port
Wine Stain. And I think he was going to be fairly shy, because
he was already very laid back and reserved. So we may have had
some ongoing problems with building his self esteem. Of course
I’m just trying to see into a future that will never come now.
|But, my closest friend, knew how
worried I was when he was born, about how he’d be treated in
school, and wrote him this poem that I was going to, and still
plan on illustrating. It’s a beautiful poem about everyone
being different, revised slightly and read by her at his
I highly recommend signing on to
www.birthmarks.com to learn more
information about living with a birthmark. The best way to get
answers to all of your questions is to sign onto their email list.
It can be overwhelming getting 10-20 plus emails a day but everyone
on the list is like family and will try to answer as many questions
as possible, the best way to get those answers is to talk to other
parents that are going through the same things, or other adults that
are living with birthmarks now. I wish you and your family all the
best, and good luck with your research and any of the decisions you