There are two main categories of birthmarks, red birthmarks and pigmented birthmarks. Red birthmarks are a vascular (blood vessel) type of birthmark. Pigmented birthmarks are areas in which the color of the birthmark is different from the color of the rest of the skin.
What are pigmented birthmarks?
Pigmented birthmarks are skin markings that are present at birth. The marks might range from brown or black to bluish, or blue-gray in color.
What are red birthmarks?
Red birthmarks are colored, vascular (blood vessel) skin markings that develop before or shortly after birth. Red birthmarks are caused by an overgrowth of blood vessels.
However, in this article and inline with a publication on Clevelandclinic, we are going to focus on the causes and symptoms of pigmented birthmarks.
What causes pigmented birthmarks?
The cause of pigmented birthmarks is not known. However, the amount and location of melanin (a substance that determines skin color) determines the color of pigmented birthmarks. Cafe-au-lait spots might be a normal type of birthmark, but the presence of several cafe-au-lait spots larger than a quarter might occur in neurofibromatosis (a genetic disorder that causes abnormal cell growth of nerve tissues). Moles occur when cells in the skin grow in a cluster instead of being spread throughout the skin. These cells are called melanocytes, and they make the pigment that gives skin its natural color. Moles might darken after exposure to the sun, during the teen years, and during pregnancy.
What are the symptoms of pigmented birthmarks?
Pigmented birthmarks might increase in size as the child grows, change colors (especially after sun exposure and during the teen years as hormone levels change), become itchy, and might occasionally bleed.
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