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Information And Treatment

Birthmarks comes in all shapes and size, forming when your internal blood vessels gather beneath your skin and create external skin markings. Though they may be present at birth, birthmarks can also develop over time.

The vast majority (up to 90%) of birthmarks are harmless. They're usually given playful names like strawberry marks and angel's kisses.

Strawberry marks are the bright red growths that may protrude from the skin, materializing sometime between birth and several months of age.

So-called "angel's kisses" are a sweeter name for macular stains (simply put, flat birthmarks) that appear in salmon or pink hues. These often form on the forehead, eyelids, tip of the nose, or upper lip, though when found on the back of the neck they're called "stork bites."

Brown or black birthmarks are often called cafe au lait spots. Cafe au lait spots are common on all skin types, but may be more noticeable on lighter skin.

Perhaps the most widely known birthmark is the port-wine stain, made famous by Gorbachev's profile. Typically a pink, maroon, purple, or dark red blotch, port-wine stains are birthmarks that grow level with the skin and most often appear on the head and neck. They are usually harmless - but if they appear too close to the eye, they can affect eyesight. These birthmarks should be removed as soon as possible.

Age range: Birthmarks come and go with age, but most will appear by 17.