Spots that appear on the skin at birth, or shortly thereafter are called birthmarks. They can be small or large; red, purple, brown or black. Pigmented birthmarks, which are caused by areas of excess pigmentation in the skin, include moles, Mongolian spots, and café-au-lait spots. Vascular birthmarks are referred to as port-wine stains, salmon-colored patches, macular stains, or hemangiomas (strawberry birthmarks). They result from an increased number of blood vessels in the skin.
Birthmarks are generally not a health hazard and usually do not require treatment. However, if they are quite noticeable, they may cause self-consciousness or loss of self-esteem. If a birthmark cannot be camouflaged with cosmetics, talk with your dermatologist about the possibility of removing it. Birthmarks can be treated in a number of ways, including surgery, laser therapy and other medical procedures.
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