Understanding the various types of birthmarks

At Remington Laser Dermatology Centre, we see patients in our practice who are bothered by birthmarks that are present on their skin. While birthmarks are benign and often appear at or shortly after birth, they can be very large or in locations where they may be more of a cosmetic concern than a medical concern. In cases where patients are seeking removal, Drs. Todd and Kent Remington can evaluate a patient and make a recommendation for treatment.

What types of birthmarks are commonly seen on patients?

There are two varieties of birthmarks including vascular and pigmented. Vascular birthmarks often appear due to blood vessel malformations, while pigmentated birthmarks are due to excess pigmentation cells in the area.

Vascular birthmarks
Vascular birthmarks include:

  • Salmon patches – these birthmarks are light pink and red and often appear on the face. They may become darker when the blood vessels dilate, such as during crying. These may also develop at the nape of the neck and may be known as “stork bites” at birth.
  • Infantile hemangioma – an infantile hemangioma often develops at birth and is a strawberry red birthmark that protrudes from the skin. Most of these will flatten on their own over the first year of life.
  • Port wine stain – a large flat patch of dark red or purple skin with well-defined borders may be diagnosed as a port wine stain. These will not fade, and instead may become darker with age.

Pigmented birthmarks

    • Pigmented birthmarks include:
  • Café-au-lait spots – light brown patches on the skin that appears oval in shape and ranges in size may be diagnosed as a café-au-lait spot.
  • Mongolian spots – while these spots may appear in dark-skinned babies and look like bruised areas, they are not caused by trauma and do not hurt. These develop typically on the back and bottoms of babies of African-American, Asian, or Hispanic ethnicities and will fade away over several years in most instances.

Speak to a professional about your birthmarks today

Drs. Todd and Kent Remington of Calgary, AB can help patients understand the type of birthmark they have and discuss possible removal if their presence is bothersome. Call Remington Laser Dermatology Centre today to request an appointment with one of our providers located at 150-7220 Fisher Street SE.

Dr. Kent Remington
( Mon – Wed )

Dr. Todd Remington
( Mon – Fri )