Spots of birth, when to worry

Birthmarks are frequent in the newborn. However, consult with the dermatologist provided that they are of concern so that the expert to determine its origin and its possible treatment.

The origin of birthmarks can depend on a concentration of pigment or blood vessels


The blemishes or birthmarks are alterations of the normal color of the skin that are present at the time of delivery. They may have a size from a few millimeters to large areas of the surface of the baby's skin. To reassure parents, must say that it is very common to be born with one or more patches of birth, in fact, more than half of the newborns will have some alteration of the skin, although often it goes unnoticed by parents.
Types of birthmarks are very different among themselves. There are discreet and located in inconspicuous areas, and others are very showy and that can affect the face. Its evolution is also variable, some last a lifetime and others will disappear over time.
All these possibilities is heavily dependent on the origin of each spot. In this sense, some are formed from accumulations of melanocytes, which are the cells that build up melanin and give color to the skin, and other brands are formed by expansion or increase in the number of blood vessels that provide blood to the skin.
The diagnosis is in most cases simple, it is often sufficient to consult a dermatologist with experience. He knows what type of stain is, what is the long term prognosis and treatment options are. It must be borne in mind that some types of stains are related to other health disorders, so it is important to consult a doctor and carry out more specific studies as needed.
The most common treatment options are laser and surgery. But in many cases it is not necessary the immediate treatment and chooses to watch the stain to detect suspicious changes in time. It must be taken into account skin of the newborn still it is maturing and the aggressive treatment could create scars of life, that seeks to avoid damage to the baby's skin.

Types of birthmarks

Knowing the origin of birthmarks is important in determining its prognosis and, if necessary, treatment. We can divide into two major groups according to their origin: Vascular or pigmented.

Vascular patches of birth

Due to an increase in the number of blood vessels or that they are too wide. Thus, becomes more blood than it should to a particular area of skin, and transparency, you can look on the surface look pink or reddish spots. Some of the newborn are vascular stains: 

Pink spots: pink or salmon colored markings are very faint. They may go unnoticed at first because its color is very clear. They are located with in the nape of the neck (which are known commonly as 'the Stork Peck') or in the eyelids and surrounding area (in this case would be the 'kiss of the angel'). They may disappear within a few years old, but sometimes they remain their entire lives. There are usually a cause for concern. 

Hemangiomas: there are spots of birth reddish and somewhat bulky, with appearance of strawberry. They sometimes have a more violet color or even maintain a normal skin color and only emphasizes the bulge. It is caused by an increase in the number of blood vessels, which continue to multiply for two or nine months after the birth. So it is normal that brand grow considerably and then stop, then disappear over the years entirely or partially. Most appear in the neck or in the trunk, and should only concern when they alter the baby's development or are wound about the brands. 

Spot on 'port wine': is a spot of intense red color, which resembles the wine, and flat appearing mostly in the face. It can deal with a fairly large area, even an entire half of the face. It occurs because the blood vessels in the area are wider than they should be. They tend to be a cause for concern because it does not disappear with age and sometimes are not very aesthetic. In addition, over the years may appear roughness on the surface, reaching warp zones of the face. But the most important thing is that in the newly born is related to syndromes that affect other organs, such as the syndromes of Sturge-Weber and Klippel-Trenaunay-Weber.

Pigmented spots of birth

Due to an increase in the number of melanocytes in a particular area of skin. Thus, it accumulates more melanin that is usually and transparency, you can look on the surface patches of colour brown, black, gray or blue, depending on the depth to which the melanocytes are. Some pigmented stains of the newborn are: 

Mongolian spot: are bluish-grey spots which occupy the lower back most of the time, but they can also be found by the rest of the back, head, or any area. In this case, the accumulation of melanocytes is deep and quite dispersed, that are spacious and borderless exact spots. It appears more frequently in Asian or Latin American babies, and disappears with the passage of the years. It should not be a cause for concern. 

"Café au lait" spots: these marks appear in 10% of babies at birth. They have a color clear, with well marked boundaries and size is variable, but they almost always have an oval shape. They are located anywhere on the skin and they tend to be unique, sometimes they are known as 'whims of birth'. When multiple they may be related to diseases such as neurofibromatosis. 

Moles or nevi: it produces an increase of melanocytes located which may cause stains, small or very large, what is known as giant nevi. They tend to be somewhat rough to the touch, with a surface area similar to the cobbled streets. Its color is Brown, but when they are very wide can have several shades more clear or obscure, to be black. It is also frequent that they have more hair than normal. It appears in 1% of Caucasian babies and they may be anywhere on the skin. They should be monitored like any other lunar, but if they are located on the spine should discard malformations local type of spina bifida.

Symptoms and diagnosis of birthmarks

The birthmarks do not produce any symptoms, just are localized spots that are seen in the skin and that the baby, usually do not produce him no discomfort. It's true that in the case of bulky lesions as hemangiomas can disturb the rub with objects or even hinder the healthy development of the baby. This happens when the hemangioma is located in the face and cover the vision in one eye, for example. In addition, these types of injuries can also become ulcerated and bleed more easily than normal skin.
Of other brands of single birth it is worth highlighting which can be related to a syndrome. The spot in wine of Oporto may be associated to Sturge-Weber Syndrome, who have neurological disorders (epilepsy, mental retardation or paralysis), and Syndrome Klippel-Trenaunay-Weber, who is related to malformations musculoskeletal (increase in the size of the half of the body). Port wine stains are not always associated with these syndromes, but it is worth to discard them. Multiple Milky coffee stains They can be associated with neurofibromatosis, which manifests itself with generalized benign nerve tumors.

Diagnosis of birthmarks

Firstly, the dermatologist will explore the stains of the newborn by which parents consult. It will ask simple questions, such as when it appeared and if it has changed shape or color over time. It will insist much itself was present at the time of the birth or if he has appeared weeks later, sometimes is not easy to remember it because spots are small or Dim. It will also aim at the State of health of the baby and if is developing normally.
Only with this consultation the dermatologist will be able to diagnose the injury. In case of doubt, which is not very common, a skin biopsy may be done to study with the microscope the cells that form the spot. But always booked as a last option because, ultimately, a biopsy is performed a wound that, though small, can leave a scar in the baby's skin.

Treatment of birthmarks

Treatment of birthmarks varies depending of one kind or another. Many of them disappear alone with time, as he has been said, in that case please wait and return to consult with a dermatologist if you have any changes. Even with stains that do not tend to disappear also you can take the decision to leave them be and monitor them periodically to check for changes.
There are treatment options to get rid of brands that give more problems. For the vascular stains the most used option is laser. It consists of applying light concentrated in la mancha, in such a way that the light is absorbed by hemoglobin which carries the blood of the defective vessels and destroy them. It is a very safe treatment, but always prefers to wait for the child to grow to see the evolution of the stain for a time.
In the case of hemangiomas laser has been the treatment of choice for a long time, but in recent years it has been discovered that beta-blockers taken by mouth makes them disappear. Beta-blockers are a group of drugs that are widely used for heart disease, and in small doses can be given to young children. The most widely used is propanolol.
For the lesions pigmented laser is not a good choice, since it destroys the lesion without that has been confirmed to be completely benign. The best treatment option would be surgery, but only reserves in the case of suspected malignant spots or that the risk of doing so is very high. This does not happen with the Mongolian spot or coffee stains with milk, there is a risk with moles from birth, as with any other Mole.

Prevention of birthmarks

There is no way to prevent these stains. The mechanisms by which appear are completely unknown. It is suspected that there are genetic alterations of base, but it is not known what triggers the changes and makes that they translate into the skin of babies.
Therefore, extraordinary measures during pregnancy should not be taken to prevent them and in principle no worry that the baby will have if one of the parents had it.
Article contributed for educational purposes
Health and Wellness

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