Birthmarks are colored spots that can appear anywhere on the body. You can be born with one birthmark or many more. It may also develop soon after the birth as well. Birthmarks may come in many different shapes and sizes and in some cases, different colors.
There are two types of birthmarks – pigmented and vascular. Pigmented birthmarks occur due to more color in any one spot on the skin. Vascular birthmarks occur when a few blood vessels stick together and are visible through the skin. Vascular birthmarks are also called red birthmarks due to the reddish tinge it creates on the skin.
The Different Types of Red Birthmarks
Hemangiomas can develop when small blood vessels clump together. When hemangiomas show up on the surface (like a growth), they are called strawberry hemangiomas. Deep hemangiomas or cavernous hemangiomas can cause skin bulges and swelling and have a bluish-purple tinge. They can appear as tissue masses that are spongy in texture.
Hemangiomas can develop after birth and continue to grow rapidly during the first year. As the years go by, hemangiomas can shrink and even fade.
Salmon patches are either red or pink and the marks are flat in nature. When they appear on the face, they are also referred to as ‘angel kisses’. Salmon patches that appear on the neck, especially the back side, are referred to as ‘stork bites’. They may also appear on the eyelids, forehead, and the upper lip. Salmon patches commonly occur in infants. As you grow older, they may fade away, but there are some cases where they remain visible for years.
Port Wine Stains
Flat birthmark patches that are red, purple, or even pink are called port wine stains due to their color. These types of red birthmarks don’t fade away on their own. The patches can even get bigger as the child grows, creating an embarrassing look that can last for ages
Treating Red Birthmarks
Some red birthmarks require no treatment as they fade away on their own, but there are some that require treatments in order to relieve you of the stress involved with having them. Cavernous hemangiomas can grow in size and cause problems such as vision obstruction if it is near the eye.
The bulges they create on the skin are unsightly and lead to confidence issues in children. If your child has deep hemangiomas, the doctor may prescribe topical creams or other drugs that can help treat the problem.
Some situations may require laser treatments for correction. The pulsed dye laser is a technique that is considered helpful in removing port wine stains. It is even safe for young children suffering from red birthmark blemishes.
Cryotherapy (freezing) is also an effective treatment for removing red birthmarks. For some birthmarks, however, surgery may also be an option.
The presence of some red birthmarks may indicate another medical problem. Port wine stains may be an indication of a problem with the eyes or brain. For cavernous hemangiomas, a biopsy may be required to determine the proper course of treatment. So, it is vital to consult a doctor about birthmarks to avoid or treat major underlying medical problems.
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Contact our office to learn more about effective birthmark treatments that will leave your skin blemish free with skilled dermatologist, Dr. Howard Horlick.