What about birthmarks ?

Birthmarks are commonly brown spots which are present from birth due to unknown reasons.

Types of birthmarks:

Birthmarks have broken down into a number of subtypes. There are 7 most commonly seen versions:

Cafe au lait spot usually oval in shape with the light brown or coffee colour. these are either present at birth or occur soon afterwards. As the individual gets older they do not fade.Some people may have one or two, but more are possible.

People with more than four may have neurofibromatosis (a genetically inherited disorder in which the nerve tissue growth neurofibromas) that may be harmless or may cause serious damage by pressing on the nerves andother tissues.

Congenital melanocytic nevus- It can occur in any part of the body .In 15% of the cases the marks are on the head and neck. In fair skinned individuals it usually has a light brown colour while in darker- skinned it may be almost black.

It can have irregular shape, maybe flat , or raised or lumpy. There are usually large brown or black moles. As the baby grows the marks become proportionally smaller.

Mongolian spots - these are blu-gray marks commonly seen in dark- skinned people .The mark may look like a bruise and appear over the lower back or buttocks. By the time the child is 4 years old they have faded away. They are harmless.

Hemangiomas- these are red and raised mark ,such a strawberry mark. Most of them start off a small and flat. They grow quickly during baby's first four or five months of life, then growth slows down and many eventually fade.

Telangiectatic nevus- these are also called Salmon patch and are caused by dilations in the capillaries ( tiny blood vessels). These are patches of slightly reddened skin. A salmon patch on the face is often called an angel kiss and called stork mark/ bite when it appears on the back of the neck. Angel kisses will usually fade within a couple of years or sometimes may become visible again.

Port wine stain- these are red or purple marks that commonly affect the face , but may occur anywhere, caused by abnormal bleeding of blood vessel in the affected area. In the UK, three in every thousand newborns have port wine stains. They may vary in size from a few millimetres to several centimetres.

Silver mark - they are known to be hereditary. A silver streak is usually found at the right or left side where the forehead and hairline meet. Commonly other family members also have a silver mark.

Treatment of birthmarks - In Asian countries or in India, usually birthmarks are of brown colour so the laser therapy is the most effective in birthmarks. We use Q switch laser to fade away the birthmark. It may require a few settings at a gap of 20 days to completely get rid of it.