Birthmarks are abnormalities that are present when a child is born or very shortly after. There are two main types of birthmarks. Pigmented birthmarks occur when there are too many cells that create pigment in the skin. This group includes: cafe-au-lait spots, mongolian spots, and moles. These are usually brown and are more likely to affect the area around it. Vascular birthmarks occur when there are too many blood vessels or the blood vessels are too big. This group includes: salmon patches, hemangiomas, and port-wine stains. These are usually red and more likely to fade away over time.
Birthmarks typically don’t mean anything dangerous but it may be a concern. If you notice a birthmark appearing on your newborn, you should have a dermatologist examine it as soon as possible to determine if treatment is necessary. The biggest concern of a birthmark is usually someone being bothered by the appearance of it which can be approached with using makeup. If a birthmark hurts, itches, bleeds, has unusual coloring, or is infectious, contact a doctor, especially if it is rapidly worsening. This may mean possible skin cancer.
Before seeking any treatment, you should get a diagnosis on your birthmark to decide the time of treatment you should get, if you even need it. Laser therapy works for vascular birthmarks, usually port-wine stains. Propranolol is a medication that can shrink a hemangioma or prevent it from growing. Timolol is a liquid medication to apply to the birthmark to help shrink a growing hemangioma. Corticosteroid is a medication that shrinks hemangioma from growing. The medication is usually injected into the birthmark with a needle. Interferon is only for life-threatening birthmarks. You would need daily shots for this to work properly.
The side effects of any of these procedures may include:
- Fluid coming from the incision
- Slowed heart rate
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Sleeping problems
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