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Birthmarks and treatment

Up to a third of people will have a birthmark when they are born or shortly afterwards. Birthmarks can differ in size, position, colour and permanence. Some may fade as a child grows, while others may grow with the child; some may be inoffensive, while others may pose problems to a child’s sense of self-confidence.

There are two main types of birthmark: there are those such as café au lait spots that are caused by an excessive amount of pigmentation in the skin, and there are those that are the result of a malformation of the blood vessels under the skin (such as the port wine stain).

Stork marks are usually found on the eyelids, forehead or the back of the neck. They are the colour of salmon, and usually fade by themselves. Strawberry marks, too, usually fade away before the child reaches their tenth birthday.

Port wine stains are less common, but they do not fade away. They tend to be dark red or purple and flat, although they can become raised and bumpy over time, and they will increase in size as the child grows. These birthmarks could benefit from a birthmark removal treatment.