Diseases & Conditions


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Birthmarks


An area of discolored skin present at birth; the most common birthmarks are moles which are malformations of pigment cells. A STRAWBERRY BIRTH MARK is bright red, spongy, and protuberant. PORT-WINE STAINS are purple-red, flat, and often cover large areas of a child’s body. Both strawberry marks and port-wine stains are malformations of blood vessels. True strawberry (capillary) HEMANGIOMAS all clear by age seven, although they may leave an unsightly scar. Port-wine stains never clear. In a few cases, port-wine stains are associated with abnormalities in the blood vessels of the brain. Unattractive moles can be removed in late childhood by plastic surgery. Port-wine stains can be lightened significantly using laser treatments. The pulsed dye laser is highly effective at lightening port-wine stains, and treatment can be started within the first few weeks of life.