Birthmarks are a common finding in children and require special attention since they are of great concern to parents. These conditions can sometimes mimic more serious conditions and can even lead the clinician to suspect child abuse so a thorough understanding of the subtleties is warranted.
Erythma Toxicum – Don’t let the name fool you. This is not a serious condition. It is a rapidly transient skin lesion which presents with tiny erythemetous pustules and vesicles, which disappear and reappear in different parts of the body. Biopsy of the lesions will show the characteristic EOSINOPHLIA. They are present usually after 48 hrs from birth.
Capillary Hemangioma- Capillary hemangiomas are proliferation’s of the vascular endothelial cells. They are usually not present during birth but appear within months of birth but can come on after 1 y/o. These lesions are bright red, raised usually appearing on the cheeks also known as “Strawberry” hemangiomas.
Mongolian Spot- These are black and blue lesions which have an indistinct border, they present usually within the first 2 weeks and can persist up to 4 years. They are often times confused with bruises,
Nevus Simplex- (Stork Bite, Angels Kiss) This is the remnant capillaries of the skin during neonatal development. The are the most common type of birth marks. They characteristically are present in the back of the neck (nape) and are called “Stork bite”. The lesions are flat and pink in color (also called salmon patch) They can also be found in the forehead and are also called “Angels Kiss”. They are present at birth and disappear within a year.
Nevus Flammeus (Port wine stain) – Is a permanent birth mark of vascular origin that most commonly appears on the face but can appear anywhere. The key is that this birth mark is permanent and will not disappear with time. It can be treated with lazer therapy if social and psychological stress persists. The occur due to venous malformations in the capillary beds. They present with irregularly shaped raised lesions which usually darken with age. They look as if “ Burgandy Port wine has been spilled on the persons face”.
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