ZocdocAnswersWhy are my daughter's birth marks darkening and what if anything should I do about it?

Question

Why are my daughter's birth marks darkening and what if anything should I do about it?

My daughter is now three and a half. She was born with flat, red birth marks on both eyes, her forehead, the back of her neck and the top of her head. They were steadily fading and were barely visible unless she was upset. In the last few months they've become visible all the time. I see no changes in her general health but we did recently move to a new climate.

Answer

It is difficult to know what type of birthmarks these are, and this is important in terms of determining why they may be darkening at this time. Therefore, I suggest going to see your dermatologist or pediatrician for help with this problem. Luckily, these are probably not a serious concern, but they may become a cosmetic concern and need treatment for that reason. Hemangiomas are one of the most common types of birth marks, caused by the growth of blood vessels under the skin. This tend to grow rapidly in the first year of life, but after that they do tend to regress. It would be unusual for a hemangioma to be getting more visible at your daughter's age unless there was some overlying scarring. Port wine stains, or capillary malformations, are a different type of birth mark. Unlike hemangiomas these do tend to darken or thicken as the child ages. They do not tend to go away later in life. If the marks are cosmetically undesirable then you should see your dermatologist. If you need a referral, your pediatrician can do this. Sometimes, these marks can be treated with laser based therapies to reduce their size or reduce their color intensity.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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