Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Day 93 - Marked at Birth

Today's Tip - Don't freak out if your baby has a birthmark, they don't hurt and may go away later in life

My son was born with a huge birthmark on his right calf. And when I say huge, I mean it takes up a good 50% of his lower leg. It looks a like he fell off a bike and skidded his skin across some pavement. People who have held him and then noticed the mark afterword have exclaimed "Oh my gosh! What did I do to hurt him!"

The type my son has is a strawberry hemangioma. It's bright red and sticks out of the skin, which is where it gets the strawberry in its name from. Sometimes the birthmark will vanish by the time the child is 5 years old. Nearly all of them will disappear after the nine year mark.

There are other types of hemangiomas, which make up a vast majority of birthmarks.

Cavernous - This means the mark is deep in the skin and it has more of a bluish-red color. A cavernous hemangioma doesn't usually go away on its own.

Regular hemangioma - It's a cluster of blood vessells that cause the skin to look red. The most common of these is found on the back of the neck. I know a few people that have these still as adults, but they're usually hidden behind hair and are completely invisible.

Port-wine stain - these are usually deep maroon or purple and are on the outer level of skin. They don't usually go away on their own, but they can be taken care of with surgery.

All birthmarks are cosmetic features and aren't bad things at all. I think they give people character. They don't hurt, and you might want to leave it up to the child to decide if he wants his birthmark removed when he's older.

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Blogger Jen said...

my sister had a strawberry birthmark on her left shoulder --about the size of your fist. now she is in her early 20s and it is completely faded it just looks a little raised but you would never pick it out if you didn't know where it had been.

9:35 AM  

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