Birthmarks are benign irregularities on the skin that usually appear at birth or shortly after. They can vary in size, location, appearance, and origin. Birthmarks are caused by overgrowth of blood vessels, melanocytes, smooth muscle, fat, fibroblasts, or keratinocytes. They are usually classified into two types: pigmented birthmarks and vascular birthmarks.

A few common types of birthmarks are

Café au lait spot: These benign spots can occur anywhere on the body. They are commonly oval in shape, though sometimes irregular, and light brown in color. These spots do not fade with age. If you have more than two of these birthmarks, however, it is best to alert your physician.
Stork bite: Also called a capillary malformation, because the lesion is vascular in nature. It appears due to dilated blood vessels. These birthmarks are usually temporary, though can be treated with a laser if they persist. They often appear as a pink or red flat, irregularly shaped mark on the knee, face, and/or back of the neck.

Port-wine stain: These birthmarks are usually present at birth and appear as either pink or a deep red color. They are usually irregularly shaped and quite large, and occur due to blood pooling beneath the skin in the absence or deficiency of nerves supplying these blood vessels. They do not fade with age, and can sometimes become thicker and develop small ridges.

Please consult with our providers over any birthmarks or unusual spots that you may have present on your skin for an official diagnosis.

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