Why do we have birthmarks?

Posted on 11 Aug, 2012

Nearly everyone on the planet is born with marks on their skin, also known as birthmarks. However, not all of us fully understand why we have birthmarks, so let’s take a look at how they are formed and the different types that can develop.

How are birthmarks formed?

Birthmarks, also known as haemangioma, are caused by a number of new blood vessels growing in a specific area in the skin. It is not definitively known, however, why these blood vessels group together in this way.

It is important to remember that birthmarks don’t cause pain or discomfort and they aren’t usually a sign of illness. Some birthmarks fade with age, whilst others can develop. A lot of people are happy with their birthmarks, but others choose to get them removed using laser birthmark removal treatment.

Types of birthmarks

There are a few different types of birthmarks, but the most common are:

Strawberry haemangioma – these are small, red in colour, and usually disappear in childhood
Cavernous haemangioma – these are deeper, puffier and more bluish in colour
Port wine stains – these are maroon or dark red in colour, usually appear on the face and neck and sometimes grow as the person gets older. Because of this, laser treatment for port wine stains is quite common.