Birthmarks: When Does It Become Important To See A Doctor

Do you have a birthmark but not sure whether it should be told to a doctor? Please read below to understand birthmarks and its types

Vani Malik
Written by: Vani MalikPublished at: May 14, 2020Updated at: May 14, 2020
Birthmarks: When Does It Become Important To See A Doctor

Many people have some marks on their body, which are called birthmarks. One can have birthmarks at various parts of their bodies. Nevertheless, many reasons decide why a little awareness of birthmarks is necessary. According to Healthline, birthmarks are a common type of discolouration that appears on your skin at birth. They can be of various shapes, colours and sizes. In 80 per cent of cases, there is no harm from birthmarks. Its risk mostly depends on its type, location and size. Birthmark broadly has two categories: Vascular and Pigmented.


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1# Pigmented birthmarks: The NHS describes three types of pigmented birthmarks.

  • Congenital Melanocytic Navy: They can be pink to light brown or black and can also be of different sizes. While many of these may disappear over time, if their size increases or the colour becomes darker, then there is a possibility of them developing into skin cancer.
  • Café au lait spots: These spots are often oval-shaped and coffee-coloured on the skin, which develops at birth or during childhood. If their numbers increase, they can be a sign of neurofibromatosis. It is a genetic disorder that affects the formation and development of nerve cells. There is usually no risk from them, but there is a rare possibility of getting cancer.
  • Mongolian Spot: These are flat blue-brown markings, usually seen in a dark colour on the lower back or baby's buttocks at birth. These do not harm and often disappear with time.


2# Vascular Birthmarks: Vascular marks appear when blood vessels are stored in a region or are more extensive than their actual size. Salmon patches (light pink spots on the skin), warts (hemangiomas) and port wine stains (nevus flammeus) are examples of this.

  • Salmon patches: These are flat red or pink spots that may appear on the eyelids, forehead or the back of the neck. They may fade over time. Usually, there is no need to treat them.
  • Warts: These are raised scars on the skin, which may be pink, blue or bright red. They can appear anywhere on the body. They are also known as 'Strawberry Marks'. They usually grow initially, but shrink and disappear over time. But if they are growing up, they can cause problems in the child's seeing or breathing. In such a situation, they need to be shown by a doctor.

Also Read: Mole Or Melanoma: How To Tell If It Is Just a Mole Or An Underlying Skin Cancer

When Should One See A Doctor For Birthmarks?


When such marks grow abnormally on a child's body, it is a clear indication that they need to be seen by a doctor. Any such thing growing on the skin, which is causing discomfort should require immediate treatment. A doctor may further prescribe medicines, ointment, further tests and even laser removal in various cases. If someone in your family has congenital scars, you may be more likely to get it. Gene mutations also cause some wounds. There is no way to stop them. Also, laser removals are incredibly safe when it comes to birthmarks and may take about 8-12 sessions on an average, depending upon the mark. Therefore, birthmarks are usually not dangerous, but it is always best to consult a doctor to ensure this if felt that your birthmarks are cancerous.

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