Birthmarks and Hemangioma
Birthmarks are areas of discolored skin that are on a baby's body at birth or that show up within a few months after delivery. Over 80 percent of babies have some kind of birthmark. Some remain for life while others fade away over time. This is a blemish on the skin formed before birth. They are part of the group of skin lesions known as naevi. The cause of birthmarks is unknown, but may include cellular damage due to radiation or chemicals. Some types seem to run in families. Most birthmarks fall into one of two categories: vascular or pigmented. Vascular birthmarks are caused by blood vessels that have accumulated below the surface of the skin. They range in color from pink to red to bluish. It depends on the depth of the blood vessels. Pigmented birthmarks usually are of brown, gray, bluish, or black color. These result from an abnormal development of pigment cells.
- The cause of birthmarks is unknown.
- Most of the birthmarks do not cause harm, pain or itching. Most of the birthmarks get away it.
- Most vascular birthmarks are not inherited, nor are they caused by anything that happens to the mother during pregnancy.
- Anyone can get a birthmark. Birthmarks are very common.
- One possible cause is that during the embryonic stage of fetal development cells that belong in the mesoderm get displaced in the ectoderm. This leads to proliferation of blood vessels or abnormal pigmentation in the dermal and epidermal structures of the skin, resulting in birthmarks.
- These are usually flat or sometime may be marginally raised.
- These may have regular or irregular borders.
- These may also have different color including red, brown, tan, black, pale blue, pink or purple.
- These may be only on the surface of the skin or extend into the tissues under the skin.
- These can grow in size or remain same size or sometimes disappear quickly. Overall their behavior is uncertain.
- Skin markings that develop before or shortly after birth.
- Sometimes these may bleed or develops an open sore or ulcer.
- Rarely, they grow suddenly or become painful.
- In most of the cases a birthmark does not need any treatment. If it is growing quickly or giving some pain or have infection then medical consultancy is needed.
- Corticosteroids can be taken as pills or injected directly into a birthmark to shrink it or to stop it from growing. Side effects of corticosteroids usually disappear after treatment stops. Most birthmarks treated with corticosteroids shrink within 2 to 4 weeks.
- Surgery. A birthmark needs to be surgically removed when other treatments have not worked or when the birthmark is on an internal organ. Surgical removal of a birthmark may leave a scar. It further will be removed or faded with other treatments.
- Port wine marks on the face should be treated at a young age with a yellow pulsed-dye laser to prevent the often profound psychosocial problems they cause.
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