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What is a Birthmark?

What is a Birthmark?A birthmark is a generally harmless discoloration that can be commonly seen on the skin from infancy.

Birthmarks can occur anywhere on the face or body. These spots can be of different colors, sizes, images and shapes, as well as sometimes permanent and tend to grow over time. Some spots, on the other hand, disappear completely. Birthmarks are mostly harmless, but some indicate an underlying medical issue. In cases where the doctor deems it necessary, birthmarks can be eliminated by different methods.

What Causes a Birthmark?
There are many misconceptions among the people about the cause of birthmarks. Some of these false beliefs can be listed as foods that are consumed without permission while pregnant or cravings that are not prevented by the expectant mother. Birthmarks do not occur due to actions taken by pregnant people. However, it is not known exactly why birthmarks occur. Some are of genetic origin, while others are not.

How Is a Birthmark Formed?
Birthmarks can occur for vascular (vascular) or pigment-intensive (pigmented) reasons and are classified according to the way they occur.

What Are the Types of Birthmarks?
Vascular (Vascular) Birthmarks
Vascular birthmarks occur when blood vessels occur differently than they should for some undetermined reason while forming. For example, there may be too many blood vessels collected in one area, or one or more blood vessels may be larger than they should be.

What are the Types of Vascular (Vascular) Birthmarks?
Salmon Spots
These spots, which are red or pink in color, are usually observed in the area between the two eyes, on the eyelids or on the back Decollete. In some cultures, it is called stork bite when it is on the neck and angel kiss when it is on the face. It is due to the aggregation or expansion of small blood vessels located under the skin. Salmon stains fade on their own in some cases and do not require medical intervention.

Hemangiomas, also called strawberry Decollete among the people, can be pink, blue or bright red in color. They are usually found in the arm, leg, head or neck area. Hemangiomas can start in a small size and flat shape. Sometimes in the first few months of a baby's life, it gradually grows in size. In cases where the physician deems it necessary, he may request the treatment of some hemangiomas of the baby.
These treatments are usually necessary for hemangiomas that grow quickly and uncontrollably and are in areas that can negatively affect the development of the baby. Apart from this, many hemangiomas disappear completely by puberty. Children who have multiple hemangiomas on their skin should also be checked for internal hemangiomas.

Wine Stain (Nevus Flammeus)
Wine stains are caused by the abnormal growth of small blood vessels located under the skin. They can develop in any part of the body. But they usually appear on the face and neck. Wine stains can start as pink or red and turn dark red or purple over time. They do not fade over time, and in untreated cases, they can darken even more. In addition, the skin at the site of the stain may be very dry, thick or rough in texture. Wine stains that occur on the eyelids may require medical treatment or regular follow-up. Rarely, such birthmarks may be associated with genetic conditions.

Pigmented Birthmarks
Pigment is a chemical that is naturally present in the skin and provides the skin with its color. In some cases, an excess of pigment cells forms at one point in the skin. Such phenomena lead to the appearance of pigmented birthmarks.

What Are the Types of Pigmented Birthmarks?
Moles, also called congenital nevus, can be seen in pink, light brown or black colors. Moles can be of different sizes, as well as occur in the same plane as the skin or in a more fluffy form. They are usually round in shape. They can appear on the face or on any part of the body. Some moles disappear on their own, while others remain on the body for life. Regardless of age, it is an important consideration to follow the change in the size and shape of the mole, because the change that occurs in a mole can sometimes indicate skin cancer.
Coffee with Milk (Café Au Lait) Stains
Such birthmarks are more oval in shape. Due to their generally pale brown color, they were called “café au lait spots”, which means ‘coffee with milk’ in French. If the skin color of the individual is dark, the resulting milk coffee stains are also dark at that rate.
These birthmarks can sometimes occur during childbirth, sometimes a very long time after birth, and sometimes during childhood. They can grow in size, but mostly fade with time. Some children may have multiple spots of coffee with milk. If your child has many spots, it is useful to consult a doctor. Because this condition may indicate a rare medical case called neurofibromatosis.

Mongolian Spots
They are non-puffy, bluish-gray spots that usually appear in people with darker skin. These spots, which do not cause any harm, can often be confused with bruising. Mongolian spots are typically observed on the lower back and buttocks and usually disappear completely
by the age of four.

What Are the Complications That Can Occur Due to Birthmarks?
A number of risks arising from pigmented birthmarks include psychological effects in cases where the birthmark is too obvious. In addition, pigmented birthmarks can increase the risk of skin cancer. For this reason, changes in the color, size, or texture of a mole (nevus) or other similar skin lesions should definitely be examined by a doctor. In any congenital birthmark or other skin lesion;
that Pain,
that Itch,
o Inflammation,
o If problems such as ulceration are observed, a doctor should be consulted urgently.
What Are the Birthmark Diagnostic Methods?
In many cases, any specialist or doctor can easily diagnose vascular or pigmented birthmarks by looking at the image of the skin. But the presence of birthmarks that Sag deeper into the skin and are not easily visible can be determined by imaging methods and laboratory tests, such as MRI, ultrasound, CT scans or skin biopsy.

How to Prevent Birthmarks?
Under normal conditions, there is no known method of preventing vascular or pigmented birthmarks before they occur. Individuals who have a birthmark should use a quality sunscreen when they are outdoors or if they are going to spend a long time in the sun to prevent more severe complications from occurring.

What Are the Birthmark Treatment Methods?
Many birthmarks are harmless and do not require treatment. Varieties of birthmarks, such as hemangiomas, Mongolian spots and salmon spots, most often pass on their own. Some birthmarks can cause discomfort due to their appearance. Other birthmarks, such as hemangiomas or moles, are risk factors for some medical cases, such as skin cancer. These birthmarks should be examined and monitored by a dermatologist. The methods of treatment for a birthmark can be listed as follows;

Laser Treatment
It can eliminate wine stains or greatly lighten them, making them even less visible. Such methods of treatment are performed by a dermatologist or surgeon. The most successful results are obtained when laser treatment is started at the infancy stage. In addition, it is possible to use it October in older children and adult individuals. Usually several sessions are needed. Laser treatments may require local anesthesia because they have caused slight discomfort. It usually gives permanent results. Problems such as temporary swelling or bruising may occur after treatment.

They are oral medications taken to treat high blood pressure. Propranolol is a type of beta blocker that can be used to reduce the size of hemangiomas or improve their appearance. Beta-Blockers shrink and narrow blood vessels, thereby reducing blood flow. This causes the hemangioma to soften, fade and shrink. Timolol, another type of beta-blocker, can be applied topically (on the skin) and it is possible to achieve similar results.

They are drugs that can be taken orally or injected directly into birthmarks. They can improve the appearance of birthmarks by narrowing the blood vessels.

Surgical Operation
It may be an appropriate treatment method for some birthmarks, such as very deep hemangiomas or moles of a very large size. Surgical operations for a birthmark do not require hospitalization. It can be performed in an outpatient setting or in a dermatologist's office. After the local anesthesia procedure performed by the doctor, he uses a small scalpel to remove the birthmark. If the birthmark is large in size, it may need to be removed in pieces over the course of several appointments.
In some cases, a method called tissue enlargement can be applied in order to prevent permanent scars from forming after birthmarks are removed by surgical operation. In this method, a type of balloon is placed under the healthy skin located near the birthmark. Thus, the development of a new and healthy skin is ensured. This new tissue is used to cover the area where the birthmark was previously located. The balloon that is placed is taken later.

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