Vascular birthmarks are visibe red marks made up of abnormal blood vessels within the skin. The most common vascular birthmarks are:
Salmon patch (naevus simplex)
This is the most common type of vascular birthmark presenting as flat, dull red areas on the eyelid, bridge of the nose, the upper lip and nape of the neck. They are usually inconspicuous, however they become more noticeable when the baby is crying. They generally fade during infancy, however approximately 50% of salmon patches on the nape of the neck persist into adulthood. These can be treated effectively using light and laser therapies available at Beacon Face & Dermatology.
Portwine stains (naevus flammeus)
This is an irregularly shaped pinkish red stain usually present at birth. It normally affects one side of the body and is most common on the face or trunk area. PWS around the eye and jaw area may be linked to an underlying developmental syndrome. Later on in life PWS may grow and become lumpy and can be difficult to camouflage with make-up. The lumpy areas are also prone to bleeding with little trauma such as scratching. The most successful treatment for PWS is laser therapy.
Strictly speaking the strawberry mark is not a true birth mark as it usually appears within the first few weeks of life. It is a soft, red to deep purple nodule that develops at birth or within the first few months after birth. 50% of strawberry marks spontaneously resolve by the fifth year and 70% will have resolved by the 7th year of life. They may occur anywhere on the body, however the majority occur on the face and neck area. There is a higher incidence among Caucasian and premature babies. Strawberry naevi may cause problems when they occur around the eye, affecting the child’s vision or in the nappy area where they tend to bleed due to friction. In these cases the lesion may be surgically removed otherwise the lesions are left to resolve spontaneously. There is no association between ill health and strawberry naevi.
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